The efficacy of therapeutic interventions on paediatric burn patients’ height, weight, body composition, and muscle strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Maxime D. Cuijpers, Martin G. A. Baartmans, Koen F. M. Joosten, Karolijn Dulfer, Paul P. M. van Zuijlen, Johannes C. F. Ket, Anouk Pijpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic interventions on pediatric burn patients’ height, weight, body composition, and muscle strength. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science up to March 2021. Eligible interventional studies reported metrics on the height, weight, body composition, or muscle strength of pediatric burn patients in a peer-reviewed journal. Meta-analyses were performed if ≥ 2 trials of clinical homogeneity reported on an outcome measure at the same time point post-burn. Results: Twenty-six interventional studies were identified, including twenty-two randomised controlled trials and four non-randomised trials. Most studies were conducted by a single institution. On average, the burn covered 45.3% ( ± 9.9) of the total body surface area. Three categories of interventions could be distinguished: rehabilitative exercise programs, pharmacologic agents, and nutrition support. Conclusions: Each of the interventions had a positive effect on height, weight, body composition, or muscle strength. The decision to initiate an intervention should be made on a case-by-case basis following careful consideration of the benefits and risks. In future research, it is important to evaluate the heterogeneity of intervention effects and whether participation in an intervention allowed pediatric burn patients to reach the physical and functional status of healthy peers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Issue number6
Early online date2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


  • Enteral nutrition
  • Pamidronate
  • Recombinant human growth hormone
  • Rehabilitative exercise

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