A Structured Review to Assess the Current Status of Cost-Based Burns Research in Nepal

Julia L. Lowin, Ak Narayan Poudel, Patricia E. Price, Tom S. Potokar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The management of burns is costly and complex. The problem is compounded in low and middle income countries (LMICs) where the incidence of burn injuries is high but infrastructure and funding for management and prevention is limited. Cost of illness studies allows for quantification of the costs associated with public health problems. Without cost quantification, focus and allocation of funding is challenging. The authors explored the availability of cost-focused burns research data in a target LMIC. The focus of their research was Nepal. A structured literature review including published papers, Ministry of Health (MOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) statistics was conducted to identify cost of illness studies or evidence relating to burn-related resource and costs. Gaps in the evidence base were highlighted. Research methodologies from other LMICs were reviewed. We found 32 papers related to burn injury in Nepal, one key MOH document and one relevant WHO data source. Most research focused on the epidemiology and etiology of burns in Nepal. Of the papers, only 14 reported any type of burn-related resource use and only 1 paper directly reported (limited) cost data. No studies attempted an overall quantification of the cost of burns. MOH statistics provided no additional insight into costs. Our study found an almost complete lack of cost-focused burns research in Nepal. Primary research is needed to quantify the cost of burns in Nepal. Initial focus could usefully be on the cost of care in tertiary hospitals. A full cost of burns for Nepal remains some way off.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number1
Early online date11 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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