Burn Model Systems – More than 25 Years of Leadership in Burn Injury Research

This is National Burn Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Burn Association, and we’re taking some time to spotlight more than 25 years of research and development from the Burn Model System (BMS) Centers, first funded by NIDILRR in 1993. The Burn Model System Centers were established by NIDILRR to “provide leadership in rehabilitation as a key component of exemplary burn care and to advance the research base of rehabilitation services for burn survivors.” These centers carry out projects that provide a coordinated system of care for burn survivors, including emergency and acute care, comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation, and long-term follow-up services that can include physical and occupational therapies, technology solutions, and vocational and psychosocial supports. Each center contributes data to the National BMS Longitudinal Database, which now includes comprehensive data on more than 6,300 burn injury survivors. In addition, these centers collaborate on research projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services to meet the wide range of needs of people with burn injuries.

What’s Happening at the BMS Centers?

The BMS Centers conduct burn injury research and development activites. For example:

Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System (BH-BIMS) is building the LIBRE Profile, an innovative system for measuring a return to life after burn injury. LIBRE stands for Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation. The LIBRE Project focuses on the impact burn injuries have on social life, versus physical recovery. The LIBRE Journey Study is developing social recovery trajectories using the LIBRE Profile questionnaire. Learn how you can participate in this study! Other activities at this center include peer support programs, a weekly all-levels yoga class, and community outreach and education in partnership with the Phoenix Society Burn Survivors of New England.

North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System (NTBRMS) is researching Vitamin D deficiency in adults with burn injuries, to see whether high- or low-dose Vitamin D replacement has an effect on burn related symptoms such as muscle weakness and fatigue. They are also investigating some of the predictors for functional outcomes following burn injury and they are using the LIBRE Profile to determine the importance of post-traumatic growth, mental health, and burn-related clinical complications as predictors of social participation outcomes. This center hosts the Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) peer support program and burn survivor support group meetings.

Northwest Regional Burn Model System Center (NWRBMS) is conducting a study of a virtual-environment home rehabilitation program to determine whether a program that streams rehabilitation exercises and other content to a home television can improve outcomes for adults discharged to home after a burn injury. Learn how you can participate in this study! In addition, this center collaborates on research into the genetic and early post-injury predictors of recovery. NWBRMS won awards for their video series on Employment After Burn Injury, produced with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, and for their poster Cooking is the Leading Cause of Home Fires: Put a Lid on It!

These BMS centers also collaborate with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) to produce a wealth of factsheets, videos, and hot-topic modules on burn injury. Browse their collection and learn how you can help test their factsheets.

In addition to research and development, the BMS centers contribute data to the National BMS Longitudinal Database, along with several centers that have completed their funded activities. The database is managed by the BMS National Data and Statistical Center, which develops and conducts statistical analyses and assists outside researchers in accessing the data for their own studies.

Explore all of the BMS centers funded from 1993 to the present.

The Burn Model System Centers publish and present extensively on their research. In March, researchers from these centers will present more than 15 sessions at the annual American Burn Association conference in Orlando, FL. The January 2020 Supplement of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (APMR) offers 11 articles detailing findings from the last 13 years of BMS research (abstracts are available free of charge). Similarly, the December 2007 supplement of AMPR featured eight articles detailing findings from the first 13 years of BSM research (articles are available free in full text).

NARIC’s collection includes close to 700 publications, including peer-reviewed research literature and publications designed for burn survivors and their families. Follow these links to explore the collection:

Publications from NIDILRR-funded BMS and other grants:

Conduct your own search of the REHABDATA database of disability and rehabilitation research literature or contact an information specialist for a customized database search!

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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