METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia to assess patients with burns between 10 to 40% total body surface area (TBSA) and with at least one year after injury. The Burn Specific Health Score-brief (BSHS-B) was utilized to compare the functional outcome whilst the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS) was used for comparison on the scar outcome of the two skin grafting techniques.
RESULTS: Forty three patients (Meek,15; SSG,28) were included. The mean current age (years old) of Meek and SSG was 24.7 (range, 7-75) and 25.9 (range, 7-65) respectively. The mean TBSA (%) of the Meek group was 26.7 (range, 13-40) while that of the SSG group was 16.1 (range, 10-32). A simplified domain structure was used for the BSHS-B questionnaire. The work and sexuality subscale were analyzed separately due to missing data. There mean scores of affect and relations was higher in Meek compared to SSG (Meek, 3.86; SSG, 3.75; p > 0.05). Function domain was also better in Meek compared to SSG (Meek, 3.88; SSG, 3.73; p > 0.05). The Meek group displayed superior scar outcome compared to SSG as evidenced by the statistically significant difference in score for the pigmentation, pliability, height and total VSS score.
CONCLUSION: The Meek group showed more favorable BSHS-B scores compared to the SSG group. The scar outcome of the Meek technique is significantly superior to SSG. Therefore, the Meek technique is superior in the management of burns because the long term scar and functional outcome of this technique is better compared to conventional SSG.