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What is an ICU diary?

Nydahl P, Knück D, Egerod I

Connect – The World of Critical Care Nursing

Medical Journal

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians, Former ICU Patients, Former ICU Patients' Family Members, Friends or Caregivers, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals


In the UK, Scandinavia, and other European countries, patient diaries are being explored as a low cost technology to improve the quality of life after critical illness and mechanical ventilation (Combe, 2005; Egerod et al., 2007). Entries into the intensive care diary are made by nurses and in some countries also by relatives during the patient's stay. In other countries relatives are encouraged to write separate diaries (Gjengedal et al.,2010). The diary is written in everyday
language and contains daily entries on the current patient status and descriptions of situations and surroundings in which the patient might find recognition. The text is often supported by photos. It is written directly to the patient, using an empathetic and reflective style and therapeutic communication (Roulin et al., 2007).

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