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Intensive care diaries reduce new onset post traumatic stress disorder following critical illness: a randomised, controlled trial

Christina Jones, Carl Bäckman, Maurizia Capuzzo, Ingrid Egerod, Hans Flaatten, Cristina Granja, Christian Rylander, Richard D Griffiths & the RACHEL group

Critical Care

Medical Research

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Critical Care Physicians

No

Introduction

Patients recovering from critical illness have been shown to be at risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD). This study was to evaluate whether a prospectively collected diary of a patient's intensive care unit (ICU) stay when used during convalescence following critical illness will reduce the development of new onset PTSD.
Methods

Intensive care patients with an ICU stay of more than 72 hours were recruited to a randomised controlled trial examining the effect of a diary outlining the details of the patients ICU stay on the development of acute PTSD. The intervention patients received their ICU diary at 1 month following critical care discharge and the final assessment of the development of acute PTSD was made at 3 months.
Results

352 patients were randomised to the study at 1 month. The incidence of new cases of PTSD was reduced in the intervention group compared to the control patients (5% versus 13%, P = 0.02).
Conclusions

The provision of an ICU diary is effective in aiding psychological recovery and reducing the incidence of new PTSD.

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