The Impact of Race/Ethnicity on the Outcomes of Burn Patients: A Systematic Review of the Literature

This article was originally published here

J Burn Care Res. 2021 Sep 14:irab174. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irab174. Online ahead of print.


Racial and ethnic disparities are endemic to the United States and are only beginning to attract the attention of researchers. With an increasingly diverse population, focused and tailored medicine to provide more equitable care is needed. For surgical trauma populations, this topic is a small but expanding field and still rarely mentioned in burn medicine. Disparities in prevention, treatment, and recovery outcomes between different racial and ethnic minorities who are burned are rarely discussed. The purpose of this study is to determine the current status of identified disparities of care in the burn population literature and areas of future research. A systematic review was conducted of literature utilizing PubMed for articles published between 2000-2020. Searches were used to identify articles that crossed the burn term (burn patient OR burn recovery OR burn survivor OR burn care) and a race/ethnicity and insurance status-related term (race/ethnicity OR African-American OR Black OR Asian OR Hispanic OR Latino OR Native American OR Indigenous OR Mixed race OR 2 or more races OR socioeconomic status OR insurance status). Inclusion criteria were English studies in the US that discussed disparities in burn injury outcomes or risk factors associated with race/ethnicity. 1,169 papers were populated, 55 were reviewed, and 36 articles met inclusion criteria. Most studies showed minorities had poorer inpatient and outpatient outcomes. While this is a concerning trend, there is a paucity of literature in this field and more research is needed to create culturally-tailored medical care and address the needs of disadvantaged burn survivors.

PMID:34520543 | DOI:10.1093/jbcr/irab174