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Name of Media:

PTSD After ICU Survival - Caring for Patients With Traumatic Stress Sequelae Following Intensive Medical Care (PICTURE)


Jochen Gensichen, Ludwig-Maximilians

Publisher or Source:

Type of Media:

Medical Research

Media Originally for:

Critical Care Physicians, General Medical Professionals, Nurses and/or Other Critical Care Medical Professionals

Country of Origin:


Primary Focus of Media:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

COVID-19 Related:



During the PICTURE trial a short narrative therapy (narrative exposure therapy adapted for primary care) for patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after intensive care treatment is to be carried out by their general practitioner (GP). During regular practice hours, this is often difficult. For this reason, we are investigating whether the regular treatment can be improved by a specially trained GP.
The aim of the study is to investigate the effects and applicability of a short version of an established narrative therapy for patients with posttraumatic stress disorders after intensive medical treatment.
Three months after discharge from the intensive care unit, the diagnosis of a PTSD symptoms is verified and the patients are randomized into two groups.
In the treatment group, the physician will perform three 45-minute therapy sessions with the patient within 6 weeks. During the first session a list of the most intense events - both positive and negative - in the life of the patient is drawn on the basis of a life line, with the stay at the intensive care unit being one of these events. The second session deals with the experience during intensive care in detail, led by the GP. During the third session, another event from the patient's life will be discussed in the same manner. This way, the different components (cognitions, emotions, body reactions, context information) can be reconnected and classified into the patient's own biography. Between the therapy sessions, a conversation between the GP and the psychologist will take place to support the GP during the therapy. In order to monitor the patient's safety and compliance, standardized telephone calls between the patient and the GP practice are regularly carried out every 2-3 weeks in between therapy sessions up to the first data collection after 6 months (T1).
In the control group there are three doctor-patient contacts, too, which content is based on the patient's symptoms. This group thus receives the standard therapy which is customary in practice.

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