Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 967–976 | Cite as

Quality of life and predictors of long-term outcome after severe burn injury

  • Babette RennebergEmail author
  • Sabine Ripper
  • Julian Schulze
  • Annika Seehausen
  • Matthias Weiler
  • Gerhard Wind
  • Bernd Hartmann
  • Günter Germann
  • Alexandra Liedl


The aim of this study was to identify the long-term quality of life after severe burn injury. In a prospective longitudinal design, N = 265 burn patients were examined 6, 12, 24, and 36 months after burn injury. A multilevel approach was used to measure stability and change in self-reported health status. Besides injury-related variables, self-report instruments included measures of quality of life, psychological distress, personality, and specific burn outcome measures. Fitting of unconditional growth models indicated that there was significant intra- and inter-individual variation in self-reported physical and mental health short form-12. Over the course of 3 years, participants reported on average a slight improvement of physical quality of life. Physical health was mainly predicted by mobility and level of burn severity. Variance in mental health status was mainly predicted by gender, mobility, neuroticism, level of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related avoidance. Thus mobility (i.e., simple abilities) seems a crucial variable for overall quality of life. An early identification and treatment of patients with high levels of depression and PTSD-related avoidance may contribute to better mental health.


Burn injury Mental and physical health Quality of life Long-term predictors 



The study was supported by the German statutory accident insurance (DGVU; Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Babette Renneberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sabine Ripper
    • 2
  • Julian Schulze
    • 1
  • Annika Seehausen
    • 3
  • Matthias Weiler
    • 1
  • Gerhard Wind
    • 2
  • Bernd Hartmann
    • 3
  • Günter Germann
    • 2
  • Alexandra Liedl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFreie Universitaet BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryBurn Center, BG Trauma CenterLudwigshafenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryBurn Center, BG Trauma CenterBerlinGermany

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