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Crit Care Med. 2018 Dec;46(12):1914-1922. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003367.

Preventing Posttraumatic Stress in ICU Survivors: A Single-Center Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of ICU Diaries and Psychoeducation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Critical Care, St Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
6
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.
7
Department of Surgery, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
8
Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
9
Melanoma Clinical Research Unit, Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.
10
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
11
Department of Family Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
12
College of Dentistry, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
13
Cardiac Sciences Program, St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Critical illness can have a significant psychological impact on patients and their families. To inform the design of a larger trial, we assessed feasibility of ICU diaries and psychoeducation to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety following ICU stays.

DESIGN:

Four-arm pilot randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

A 10-bed tertiary ICU in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

PATIENTS:

Critically ill patients greater than 17 years old with predicted ICU stays greater than 72 hours and mechanical ventilation duration greater than 24 hours.

INTERVENTIONS:

Patients were randomized to usual care, ICU diary, psychoeducation, or both ICU diary and psychoeducation.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

Our primary objective was to determine feasibility measured by enrollment/mo. Secondary outcomes included acceptability of the ICU diary intervention and psychological distress, including patients' memories 1 week post ICU using the ICU Memory Tool, posttraumatic stress disorder (Impact of Events Scale-Revised), depression, and anxiety symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) 30 and 90 days post ICU. Over 3.5 years, we enrolled 58 patients, an average of 1.9 participants/mo. Families and healthcare providers wrote a mean of 3.2 diary entries/d (SD, 2.9) and indicated positive attitudes and low perceived burden toward ICU diary participation. A majority of patients reported distressing memories of their ICU stay. Those who received the diary intervention had significantly lower median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale anxiety (3.0 [interquartile range, 2-6.25] vs 8.0 [interquartile range, 7-10]; p = 0.01) and depression (3.0 [interquartile range, 1.75-5.25] vs 5.0 [interquartile range, 4-9]; p = 0.04) symptom scores at 90 days than patients who did not receive a diary.

CONCLUSIONS:

ICU diaries are a feasible intervention in a tertiary Canadian ICU context. Preliminary evidence supports the efficacy of ICU diaries to reduce psychological morbidity following discharge.

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