Access the BMS Data

What is the BMS National Database?

The Burn Injury Model System National Database is a prospective, longitudinal, multicenter research data repository that contains measures of functional and psychosocial outcomes following burns. The BMS National Database consists of data collected from individuals with moderate to severe burn injury to learn more about long-term outcomes after a burn injury. BMS data are collected either by paper and pencil, in person or over the phone interviews, or using online surveys. Surveys are completed at discharge from the hospital, 6-months post injury, 12-months post injury, 24-months post injury, and then every five years thereafter. Procedures for data collection are guided by the Standard Operating Procedures.

The DOI for the BMS NDB is: DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/SWC2P

Who Can Use This Database?

The BMS National Database welcomes the use of the data by external researchers who share our goal of improving lives of burn survivors.

BMS National Database Objectives

The objective of the BMS National Database is to provide a core set of variables which support rigorous research that:

  1. Contributes to improved care and outcomes of individuals (both adult and pediatric) with severe burns.
  2. Contributes to evidence-based rehabilitation interventions and clinical and practice guidelines that improve the lives of individuals with severe burns.
  3. Studies the longitudinal course of severe burn injuries and their secondary effects and factors that affect that course.
  4. Identifies and evaluates trends over time in etiology, demographics, injury severity characteristics, treatment of burns, health services delivery, and short-term and long-term outcomes of persons who incur a severe burn.
  5. Establishes expected rehabilitation outcomes for persons with severe burns.
  6. Facilitates other research such as the identification of potential persons for enrollment in appropriate burns clinical trials and research projects or as a springboard to population-based studies.

What is in the Database?

The BMS NDB contains data on over 3,000 adults and almost 2,000 children with moderate to severe burn injury (for a complete list of inclusion criteria, click here). The variables and measures collected include demographics (such as sex, age, race and ethnicity), injury characteristics (such as total body surface area burned and etiology of injury), and outcome measures that assess domains such as pain, itch, depression, and more. Some specific measures currently collected include PROMIS-29, VR-12, and the Post Traumatic Growth Injury. You can download an overview of all variables collected by following this link.


For Researchers Interested in the Data

Please review the list of publications in progress and any previously published manuscripts before you request BMS data to avoid duplication. To gain access to the data please follow the simple procedures described in this data access fact sheet (pdf download).

When you request data you will need to have an understanding of the variables included in the dataset, including how they are coded and when they were collected. The BMS Data Dictionary (excel file download) contains all of this information. To see what the paper surveys look like, along with the related variable names, you can view the current BMS Codebook (pdf download).

Because it's a long term project (data has been collected since 1993) that has changed over time, using the BMS database can be complicated. Click here for a PowerPoint presentation that guides you through the BMS Data Dictionary and provides more information about using the database. As an additional tool, this PDF provides an overview of what variables have been collected at which time points since 1993.

Ready to request a customized dataset? Fill out this form and send it to


Public Access

You can obtain a free public version of the dataset by filling out the form at . This dataset is comprised of data that has been collected up to 2 years prior to June, 2019.