Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intensive care diaries protect patients from PTSD, researchers find

Date:
September 16, 2010
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
Some intensive care patients develop post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) after the trauma of a difficult hospital stay, and this is thought to be exacerbated by delusional or fragmentary memories of their time in the intensive care unit. Now researchers have found that if staff and close relatives make a diary for patients, featuring information about their stay and accompanied by photographs, PTSD rates can be significantly reduced.

Some intensive care patients develop post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) after the trauma of a difficult hospital stay, and this is thought to be exacerbated by delusional or fragmentary memories of their time in the intensive care unit. Now researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care have found that if staff and close relatives make a diary for patients, featuring information about their stay and accompanied by photographs, PTSD rates can be significantly reduced.

Professor Richard Griffiths and Christina Jones from the University of Liverpool, UK, worked with an international team of researchers to conduct a randomized controlled trial into the effectiveness of the diaries in 352 patients from 12 hospitals in 6 different European countries. Griffiths said, "On average 1 in 10 patients who stay more than 48 hours in intensive care will develop PTSD. It is likely that the fragmentary nature of their memories and the high proportion of delusional memories, such as nightmares and hallucinations, make it difficult for patients to make sense of what has happened to them. These memories are frequently described as vivid, realistic and frightening and may even involve patients thinking that nurses or doctors tried to kill them. Hard evidence of what really happened, in the form of a diary filled out by the treatment staff, may help to allay these fears."

During the study, 162 patients were randomly assigned to receive diaries, and they were found to be less than half as likely to develop PTSD as the control group. The diaries were completed daily by nursing staff and relatives using everyday language and accompanying photographs were taken. After discharge from intensive care, a nurse talked the patient through the diary entries.

According to Griffiths, "Diaries are not without cost; there has to be a commitment from the staff to write something in the diary every day and take photographs when important changes happen. In addition an experienced nurse is needed to go through the diary with the patient to ensure that they understand its contents, but this is not significantly more than might have been provided by an unstructured discussion in the past. Compared with providing formal therapy to all patients struggling to cope with their experiences, diaries are likely to be highly cost-effective."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christina Jones, Carl Backman, Maurizia Capuzzo, Ingrid Egerod, Hans Flaatten, Cristina Granja, Christian Rylander, Richard D Griffiths, The RACHEL group. Intensive care diaries reduce new onset post traumatic stress disorder following critical illness: a randomised, controlled trial. Critical Care, 2010; 14 (5): R168 DOI: 10.1186/cc9260

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Intensive care diaries protect patients from PTSD, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916073418.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2010, September 16). Intensive care diaries protect patients from PTSD, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916073418.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Intensive care diaries protect patients from PTSD, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916073418.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins