Access the BMS Data

What is the BMS National Database?

The Burn Injury Model System National Database is a prospective, longitudinal, multi-center 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.

To review the data in the database, review the Annual Report. Click here to download a PDF.


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 4,000 adults and 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, and the Post Traumatic Growth Inventory. You can download an overview of all variables collected by following this link.


What Are the Two Types of BMS Data Access?

Annually Published Public Access

The Public Dataset is published annually and contains data collected up to two years prior to its publication date. Data are stripped of all HIPAA-defined identifiers, including names, geographic subdivisions smaller than a state, elements of dates (except year) related to an individual, telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, and medical record numbers.

Custom Data Access

A Custom Data Set includes all available data (i.e., all data available at the time of request), and is available free of charge to researchers with specific hypotheses who might want BMS input or collaboration.


What Is the Difference Between Annually Published and Custom Datasets?

The Annually Published Dataset includes:

  • All BMS data available except identifiers
  • Data collected up to 2 years prior to the publication date, i.e., data in the dataset is older than 2 years before the publication date

A Custom Dataset includes:

  • Only variables you request and are necessary to answer your research question(s)
  • Most recent data available at the time of request

Both datasets:

  • Contain e-identified data
  • Require users to agree to a data use agreement


How to Request BMS Datasets

Annually Published Public Dataset

  1. Click the link under the heading Public Access, below
  2. Agree to the data use agreement terms
  3. Download the dataset

Custom Dataset (Watch this Webinar to Learn More):

  1. Formulate your research question(s) and hypotheses. Review the list of papers already published ( or in progress ( to make sure your research questions have not already been addressed.
  2. Review the variables in the database using the BMS data dictionary. Pay close attention to whether the variables you are interested in are available at the time points of interest;
  3. Download and fill out a Data Request and Use Agreement Form. Email the completed forms to the BMS NDSC at
  4. The BMS reviews the scientific purpose and scientific overlap with existing projects and approves the request (typically within 2 weeks).
  5. Once approved, the BMS NDSC will provide a de-identified dataset and assist with any questions you have about the dataset free of charge.
  6. Provide annual updates on progress of the project, and an updated anticipated completion date.


Ready to request data? Read this info sheet for more information!


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) that consists of the newest BMS data collection forms (data collection begun in 2023).

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


BMS Webinars

To access the BMS Webinar Series, click here. These webinars provide more information on accessing and using the BMS, as well as further details about the data collected by the BMS.


Public Access

You can obtain a free public version of the dataset by filling out the form at . This dataset was posted on July 31st, 2023, and contains data collected from 1993 through the end of 2020.