Posttraumatic growth in parents after a child's admission to intensive care: Maybe Nietzsche was right?

ArticleinIntensive Care Medicine 35(5):919-23 · March 2009with11 Reads
Impact Factor: 7.21 · DOI: 10.1007/s00134-009-1444-1 · Source: PubMed


    The aim of this prospective study was to establish the degree to which parents report post-traumatic growth after the intensive care treatment of their child.
    Prospective cross-sectional cohort study.
    Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
    A total of 50 parents of children, admitted to PICU for >12 h.
    Parents provided stress ratings as their child was discharged from PICU and, 4 months later, completed postal questionnaires rating their anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth. As much as 44 parents (88%) indicated on the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) [1] that they had experienced a positive change to a great degree as a result of their experiences in PICU. Parents of children who were ventilated (P = 0.024) reported statistically higher post-traumatic growth as did parents of older children (P = 0.032). PTGI scores were positively correlated with post-traumatic stress scores at 4 months (P = 0.021), but on closer inspection this relationship was found to be curvilinear.
    Post-traumatic growth emerged as a salient concept for this population. It was more strongly associated with moderate levels of post-traumatic stress, than high or low levels.