Name of Media:

Prevention of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome in Spouses With SAF-T Intervention


Paula Cairns, MSN; and Cindy L. Munro, PhD, MSN, BSN

Publisher or Source:


Type of Media:

Magazine Article

Media Originally for:

Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:

United States

Primary Focus of Media:

Post Intensive Care Syndrome for Families (PICS-F)

COVID-19 Related:



More than 5.7 million patients are admitted to intensive care units (ICU) each year in the United States. Critical illness is a family crisis. There is strong evidence that family distress in response to critical illness does not disappear after ICU discharge. The Society of Critical Care Medicine has identified a cluster of complications that occur in family members of ICU patients as Post Intensive Care Syndrome-Family (PICS-F). PICS in family members of adult ICU survivors include symptoms of ongoing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data suggest that 70% of family members have symptoms of ongoing anxiety, and 33% have symptoms of depression and PTSD, which can persist for ≥4 years. Moreover, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD are higher and persist longer in family members than in adult ICU survivors. Because PICS-F occurs with greater frequency in spouses and surrogate health decision-makers, this study focused on participants whom are spouses of mechanically ventilated critically ill adults (typically sedated and unable to make their own health decisions).

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