The American Burn Association (ABA) mission promotes burn care, research, rehabilitation, teaching, and prevention. Therefore, we sought to determine recent burn research trends by reviewing 1595 accepted abstracts from the Proceedings of the American Burn Association from 1998 to 2003. This study encompassed a retrospective, descriptive audit of ABA abstracts accepted for presentation, including topic, institution, accreditation status, and presentation. Overall, Shriners Hospitals for Children (SH) provided 31%, non-Shriners burn centers (N-S) provided 53%, international and nonburn center hospitals provided 13%, and multicenter ventures provided 2% of the abstracts. Abstract topics addressed most frequently in this time period were cell biology 271 (17%), general care 240 (15%), and pain 235 (15%). Multicenter trials were negligible from the period of 1998 to 2000 but increased to 3% to 4% annually since 2001. In 2003, 39 of 128 (30%) of U.S. burn centers were accredited and delivered 67% of the presentations. SH abstracts increased from 26% in 1998 to 35% in 2003, whereas the N-S decreased from 61% to 48%. Thirty-seven percent of the abstracts reported prospective studies, 28% retrospective, and basic research abstracts comprised 18%. Four SH and 91 N-S (U.S.) hospitals primarily shared the podium, although N-S presentations decreased annually since 1998. On the basis of 2003 ABA/ACS accreditation data, there was an association between accreditation and research activity. SH and N-S collaborative studies for better patient care are the trend for the future as burn centers pool data and resources.
From the *Sumner L. Koch Burn Center, Department of Trauma, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois; †Department of Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois; and ‡University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.
Address correspondence to Areta Kowal-Vern, MD, Burn Research and Tissue Bank Director, Sumner L. Koch Burn Center, Department of Trauma, 1901 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612.
Presented at the meeting of the American Burn Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 24 to 27, 2004.