Risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Family Members of Intensive Care Unit Patients

Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Impact Factor: 13). 06/2005; 171(9):987-94. DOI: 10.1164/rccm.200409-1295OC
Source: PubMed


Intensive care unit (ICU) admission of a relative is a stressful event that may cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Factors associated with these symptoms need to be identified.
For patients admitted to 21 ICUs between March and November 2003, we studied the family member with the main potential decision-making role.
Ninety days after ICU discharge or death, family members completed the Impact of Event Scale (which evaluates the severity of post-traumatic stress reactions), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey during a telephone interview. Linear regression was used to identify factors associated with the risk of post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Interviews were obtained for family members of 284 (62%) of the 459 eligible patients. Post-traumatic stress symptoms consistent with a moderate to major risk of PTSD were found in 94 (33.1%) family members. Higher rates were noted among family members who felt information was incomplete in the ICU (48.4%), who shared in decision making (47.8%), whose relative died in the ICU (50%), whose relative died after end-of-life decisions (60%), and who shared in end-of-life decisions (81.8%). Severe post-traumatic stress reaction was associated with increased rates of anxiety and depression and decreased quality of life.
Post-traumatic stress reaction consistent with a high risk of PTSD is common in family members of ICU patients and is the rule among those who share in end-of-life decisions. Research is needed to investigate PTSD rates and to devise preventive and early-detection strategies.

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Available from: Michel Kaidomar
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    • "Sizable amounts of quantitative and qualitative data regarding mental health symptoms are now available [1,2]. In large observational studies conducted in France, for example, Pochard et al. [3] found that 69% of family members had anxiety and 35% experienced depression early in their relative’s ICU stay, while 73% had anxiety and 35% had depression in the days preceding their relative’s ICU discharge or death [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common among family members of ICU patients and are culturally dependent. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression and associated factors in family members of ICU patients in two Central European countries. We conducted a prospective multicenter study involving 22 ICUs (250 beds) in the Czech and Slovak Republics. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess symptoms of anxiety and depression in family members of ICU patients. Family member understanding of the patient's condition was assessed using a structured interview and a questionnaire was used to assess satisfaction with family member/ICU staff communication. Twenty two intensive care units (both adult and pediatric) in academic medical centers and community hospitals participated in the study. During a 6 month period, 405 family members of 293 patients were enrolled. We found a high prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms - 78% and 54%, respectively. Information leaflets distributed to family members did not lower incidences of anxiety/depression. Family members with symptoms of depression reported higher levels of satisfaction according to the modified Critical Care Family Needs Inventory. Extended contact between staff and family members was the only related factor associated with anxiety reduction (p = 0.001). Family members of ICU patients in East European countries suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression. We identified limited family member/ICU staff communication as an important health care professional-related factor associated with a higher incidence of symptoms of anxiety. This factor is potentially amenable to improvement and may serve as a target for proactive intervention proactive intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "An intensive care unit (ICU) admission is a stressful event for the patient and the patient’s family. Several studies demonstrated symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder in family members of patients admitted to ICU [1-3]. In 1979, Molter published the Critical Care Family Needs Inventory [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: An intensive care unit (ICU) admission is a stressful event for the patient and the patient's family. Several studies demonstrated symptoms of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder in family members of patients admitted to ICU. Some studies recognize that the open visitation policy (OVP) is related to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression for the patient and an improvement in family satisfaction. However, some issues have been presented as barriers for the adoption of that strategy. This study was designed to evaluate perceptions of physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists (RTs) of an OVP and to quantify visiting times in a Brazilian private intensive care unit (ICU). This observational and descriptive study was performed in the medical-surgical (22 beds) and neurologic ICU (8 beds) of Sirio-Libanes Hospital (HSL), Sao Paulo, Brazil. All physicians, nurses, and RTs from ICU were invited to participate in the study. A questionnaire was applied to all ICU workers who accepted to participate in the study. The questionnaire consisted of 22 questions about the visiting policy. During five consecutive days, we evaluated the time that the visitors stayed in the patient room, as well as the type of visitor. A total of 106 ICU workers participated in this study (42 physicians, 39 nurses, and 25 RTs). Only three of the questions exposed a negative perception of the visiting policy: 53.3% of the participants do not think that the OVP consistently increases family satisfaction with patient's care; 59.4% of ICU workers think that the OVP impairs the organization of the patient's care; 72.7% of participants believe that their work suffers more interruptions because of the OVP. The median visiting time per day was 11.5 hours. According to physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists, the greatest impact of OVP is the benefit to the patients rather than to the family or to the staff. Furthermore, they feel that they need communication training to better interact with family members who are present in the ICU 24 hours per day.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Annals of Intensive Care
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    • "Studies assessing HRQoL after ICU suggest that ICU patients do not return to the same level of health that they had before they fell ill [23,29], and that their HRQoL is lower than that of the general population, at least in the early years [3,9,13,15,17,18,20]. According to Oeyen et al. [23], a follow-up of 12 or 24 months is probably the best to capture changes that have a negative impact quality of life after intensive care. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Studies suggest that in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU), physical functional status (PFS) improves over time, but does not return to the same level as before ICU admission. The goal of this study was to assess physical functional status two years after discharge from an ICU and to determine factors influencing physical status in this population. Methods The study reviewed all patients admitted to two non-trauma ICUs during a one-year period and included patients with age ≥ 18 yrs, ICU stay ≥ 24 h, and who were alive 24 months after ICU discharge. To assess PFS, Karnofsky Performance Status Scale scores and Lawton-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scores at ICU admission (K-ICU and L-ICU) were compared to the scores at the end of 24 months (K-24mo and L-24mo). Data at 24 months were obtained through telephone interviews. Results A total of 1,216 patients were eligible for the study. Twenty-four months after ICU discharge, 499 (41.6%) were alive, agreed to answer the interview, and had all hospital data available. PFS (K-ICU: 86.6 ± 13.8 vs. K-24mo: 77.1 ± 19.6, p < 0.001) and IADL (L-ICU: 27.0 ± 11.7 vs. L-24mo: 22.5 ± 11.5, p < 0.001) declined in patients with medical and unplanned surgical admissions. Most strikingly, the level of dependency increased in neurological patients (K-ICU: 86 ± 12 vs. K-24mo: 64 ± 21, relative risk [RR] 2.6, 95% CI, 1.8–3.6, p < 0.001) and trauma patients (K-ICU: 99 ± 2 vs. K-24mo: 83 ± 21, RR 2.7, 95% CI, 1.6–4.6, p < 0.001). The largest reduction in the ability to perform ADL occurred in neurological patients (L-ICU: 27 ± 7 vs. L-24mo: 15 ± 12, RR 3.3, 95% CI, 2.3–4.6 p < 0.001), trauma patients (L-ICU: 32 ± 0 vs. L-24mo: 25 ± 11, RR 2.8, 95% CI, 1.5–5.1, p < 0.001), patients aged ≥ 65 years (RR 1.4, 95% CI, 1.07–1.86, p = 0.01) and those who received mechanical ventilation for ≥ 8 days (RR 1.48, 95% CI, 1.02–2.15, p = 0.03). Conclusions Twenty-four months after ICU discharge, PFS was significantly poorer in patients with neurological injury, trauma, age ≥ 65 tears, and mechanical ventilation ≥ 8 days. Future studies should focus on the relationship between PFS and health-related quality of life in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · BMC Anesthesiology
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