Assessing Patient Outcomes in Burns: Challenges and Solutions

Professor Nichola Rumsey

Co-Director, Centre for Appearance Research

When quizzed about the underlying motivation for their work, the majority of burn team members respond that their overarching aim is to use their professional skills in ways that will optimise their patients’ quality of life.  However, quality of life is not well predicted by the aesthetic or functional outcomes of treatment.  Without an assessment of the patient’s own perspective, our understanding of the impact and outcomes of the care we deliver will be incomplete.  Yet, despite a broad acceptance of the need to capture the patient’s view, progress along the path to meaningful patient outcome measurement has been slow.  A brief overview of the current methodological road blocks to progress and of ways of circumventing these will be presented.

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