Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Diaries May Reduce Post-Traumatic Stress in ICU Patients

Diaries May Reduce Post-Traumatic Stress in ICU Patients

09/22/10

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A diary can help reduce intensive care patients' risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a difficult stay in the hospital, according to a new study.

The randomized controlled study included 352 intensive care unit (ICU) patients at 12 hospitals in six European countries. Of those patients, 162 were randomly selected to receive diaries about their time in the ICU. The diaries, completed by nursing staff and relatives, used plain language and included photographs. After the patients were discharged from the ICU, a nurse reviewed the diary entries with them.

The patients who received a diary were less than half as likely to develop PTSD as the control group that didn't receive a diary, according to the report published in the September online edition of the journal Critical Care.

"On average, one in 10 patients who stay more than 48 hours in intensive care will develop PTSD," study author Richard Griffiths, a professor at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

"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," he explained. "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," Griffiths said.

"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," Griffiths added. "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."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about PTSD.

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >