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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 1996 Jun;12(3):131-7.

An exploratory study of patients' memory recall of their stay in an adult intensive therapy unit.


This study carried forward an exploration to determine if there is a need to visit patients in a ward following discharge from an adult intensive therapy unit (ITU), by ascertaining what patients remember of their stay and their ability to cope with this experience. Data were collected during interviews 48 hours following subjects' discharge from the ITU, and collated using an adaptation of thematic content analysis as described by Burnard (1991). Twenty-six subjects were studied over a 6-month period. The findings suggest that patients have vivid recollections of their stay in an ITU, and are consistent with previous research in respect of patients continuing to experience dreams, pain, sleep deprivation and worries about transfer out of an ITU to a ward. New themes suggest that ITU patients do not recall their "named nurse", but do recall detailed explanations given to them by nurses in the ITU. Patients also believe they would benefit from a follow-up visit to discuss and clarify aspects of their stay which were unclear or are causing them concern.

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