Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Intensive Care Med. 2010 Dec;36(12):2030-7. doi: 10.1007/s00134-010-1972-8. Epub 2010 Jul 27.

Post-traumatic stress disorder after weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation.

Author information

  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines IL and Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL, USA. ajubran@lumc.edu



Weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation may be associated with mental discomfort. It is not known whether such discomfort is linked with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Accordingly, we investigated whether PTSD occurs in patients after weaning from prolonged ventilation. We also determined whether administering a questionnaire would identify patients at risk for developing PTSD.


A prospective longitudinal study of patients transferred to a long-term acute-care hospital for weaning from prolonged ventilation was undertaken: 72 patients were studied 1 week after weaning, and 41 patients were studied again 3 months later. An experienced psychologist conducted a structured clinical interview 3 months after weaning to establish a diagnosis of PTSD. To assess for the presence of PTSD-related symptoms, the post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS-10) questionnaire was administered 1 week after weaning and 3 months later.


The psychologist diagnosed PTSD in 12% of patients 3 months after ventilator weaning. Patients who developed PTSD were more likely to have a previous history of psychiatric disorders (P < 0.02). A PTSS-10 score >20 one week after weaning reliably identified patients who were diagnosed with PTSD 3 months later: sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.76; area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve 0.91.


PTSD was diagnosed in 12% of patients who were weaned from prolonged ventilation. A PTSS-10 score >20 one week after weaning identified patients diagnosed with PTSD 3 months later. This finding suggests that a simple questionnaire administered before hospital discharge can identify patients at risk for developing PTSD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk