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Psychological intervention to prevent ICU-related
PTSD: who, when and for how long?
Hatch, R., McKechnie, S., Griffiths, J.
BioMed Critical Care
Media Originally for:
General Medical Professionals
Experiencing treatment on a modern intensive care
unit (ICU) is a potentially traumatic event. People who
experience traumatic events have an increased risk of
depression, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). Extended follow-up has confi rmed
that many patients suff er physical and psychological
consequences of the ICU treatment up to 12 months
after hospital discharge. PTSD in particular has become
increasingly relevant in both the immediate and
longer-term follow-up care of these patients. The
extent to which the consequences of critical illness
and the treatments received in the ICU contribute to
the development of PTSD is poorly understood and
more rigorous studies are needed. Understanding the
factors associated with a poor psychological recovery
after critical illness is essential to generate models of
causality and prognosis, and to guide the delivery of
eff ective, timely interventions.
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