Establishing Disability Weights and the Burden of Burn Injuries in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands

Miss Inge Spronk1,2,3, Assoc prof Dale Edgar4,5,6, Dr Margriet van Baar1,2, Prof Suzanne Rea4, Dr Helen Douglas4, Dr Nancy van Loey7,8, Prof Esther Middelkoop3,9, Prof Babette Renneberg10, Dr Caisa Oster12, Dr Lotti Orwelius11, Dr Asgjerd Moi13

1Association Of Dutch Burn Centres, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Public Health, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 3Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery, Amsterdam Movement Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 4State Adult Burn Unit, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia, 5Burn Injury Research Node, The University of Notre Dame Australia, , Australia, 6Fiona Wood Foundation, Murdoch, Australia, 7Association of Dutch Burn Centres, Department Behavioural Research, Beverwijk, Netherlands, 8Utrecht University, Department Clinical Psychology, Utrecht, Netherlands, 9Association of Dutch Burn Centres, Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, Netherlands, 10Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 11Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, and Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden, 12Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala, Sweden, 13Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bergen University College, Bergen, Norway



Burden of disease calculations are an important resource allocation tool in public health. An essential factor for these calculations is the disability weight, which reflects the magnitude of health loss associated with outcome. Currently, robust estimates are not available for the burden of burns due to the lack of disability weights for homogenous burn injury groups.


Our objective is to elaborate on a refined methodology to derive disability weights for homogenous burn injury groups, and to use this methodology to derive disability weights and calculate the burden of burns of Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.


Australian and European health-related quality of life data were used to derive disability weights for three homogenous burn injury groups based on %TBSA burned. Subsequently, incidence data from Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ data) and the Netherlands were used to compute years lived with disability which expresses the non-fatal burden of burns.


Data of 2600 patients were included. Disability weights ranged from 0.05 (subgroup <5% TBSA burned; >24 months post-burn) to 0.58 (subgroup >20% TBSA burned; 0-1 months post-burn). Incidence data from Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands will be used to estimate the non-fatal burden of burns of these countries. This project is ongoing. Final results will be presented at the ANZBA ASM 2019.


This project will establish a method for more precise estimates of the burden of burns. This information can be used as input for health decision making at both the national and international level.


Dale is Head of the Burn Injury Research Node within the School of Physiotherapy and IHR at Notre Dame. In addition to this half-time role, Dale is also Senior Physiotherapist in the Adult Burns Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Director of Clinical Research for the Fiona Wood Foundation.

For more than 20 years, Dale has been devoted to the provision and improvement of burn survivor and acute trauma rehabilitation.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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