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ABSTRACT: The need for critical care and the experience of being treated in the intensive care unit may be a traumatic event with long-lasting psychological consequences for the patient and family. Research has identified patients who are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder after an intensive care unit stay. This article reviews pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies, including the use of diaries or journals, that have been shown to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in intensive care unit patients and their families.
Dimensions of critical care nursing: DCCN 03/2012; 31(2):69-72.