The Foundation gave two presentations at the British Burn Association (BBA) Annual Meeting 2015 in Birmingham which took place from 20-22 May 2015. The three day event was attended by healthcare professionals from burn care services from across the UK as well as international delegates and speakers.
We were all delighted that two research projects undertaken by the Foundation were accepted by the BBA for presentation at the conference.
A burn-specific Patient Concern Inventory:
Katie Piper Foundation research analyst volunteer Beth Hughes, a burn survivor and beneficiary of the Foundation, was the lead researcher on a KPF project to establish a burns-specific ‘Patient Concern Inventory’ (PCI). A Patient Concern Inventory is a relatively new concept that facilitates patients to raise important issues with their healthcare team using a checklist of well-researched prompts. This engages the patient in self-assessment, and guides and targets a consultation, bringing to light issues that could be overlooked.
The original PCI was developed for head and neck cancer outpatient clinics where, prior to consultation, patients select from a list of 55 potential concerns covering physical and functional, social care and social, psychological, emotional and spiritual domains which acts as a guide for the consultation. The PCI has been shown to produce more focused, efficient and effective consultations and direct appropriate Multi Disciplinary Team referral and resources. Due to the numerous physical, psychological and other issues faced by burn patients, the introduction of a PCI-burns tool could be of great potential benefit.
With Phase 1 of our research complete, Beth’s presentation was an opportunity to recruit support from burn care teams for the next phases of the project (including trialling in a clinical setting). There was an extremely positive response to the concept and a large number of burn care services immediately expressed an interest in assisting with the final phases of the project. We believe this powerful but simple tool could become a standard part of burn care.
Evaluation of Hair Replacement Systems:
Our Charity Services Manager, Ezinna Rospigliosi, presented an evaluation of the benefits of hair replacement systems (HRS) compared to other non-surgical solutions to permanent scalp hair-loss due to burn injuries. This was a project initiated and led by a KPF beneficiary and volunteer.
Hair loss due to destroyed scalp hair follicles can have a devastating impact on a person’s psychosocial wellbeing and self-image and has been highlighted to the Foundation by patients as a significant area of concern. After investigation of non-surgical options, the Foundation developed criteria to fund custom-made HRS for burn survivors. These systems require the use of technologies including breathable membranes, specialist fitting and on-going maintenance.
As wigs are the most common non-surgical option available in the NHS, the Foundation’s evaluation focused on comparing HRS and wigs. In conclusion, HRSs appear to have a positive impact on wellbeing compared to other non-surgical hair loss solutions and our aim is that HRSs will become an option that is available via the NHS.