Original Article | Open Access
Aaron Khitab, John Reid, Vern Bennett, G Camelia Adams, Lloyd Balbuena, "Late Onset and Persistence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Survivors of Critical Care", Canadian Respiratory Journal, vol. 20, Article ID 861517, 5 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/861517
Late Onset and Persistence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Survivors of Critical Care
BACKGROUND: Several recent studies have reported that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a frequent occurrence in survivors of an intensive care unit (ICU) admission.OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of PTSD symptoms at three and nine months post-ICU admission and examine possible risk factors that predispose to the development of PTSD symptoms.METHOD: Using the following scales: Davidson Trauma Scale, Impact of Event Scale and the Post-traumatic Symptom Scale, 69 ICU survivors were assessed for PTSD symptoms at three months post-ICU admission. Of the original 69 patients, 37 completed the same questionnaires at the second follow-up at nine months post-ICU admission. Mean symptom levels for avoidance, intrusive thoughts and hyperarousal were calculated, and risk factors for the development of PTSD symptomatology were examined.RESULTS: Depending on which scale was used, 16% to 33% of ICU survivors met the criteria for PTSD at either three or nine months. Younger age and the use of a prescription psychoactive medication at time of ICU admission were both independently associated with a higher risk of developing PTSD symptoms. Interestingly, symptoms of hyperarousal worsened during the follow-up interval for female patients, while they remained constant for males.CONCLUSION: The frequency of PTSD symptoms was high in patients who survived an admission to the ICU. Depending on sex, symptoms may present and evolve differently. The adoption of screening tools and a multicentre ICU database in Canada is recommended to identify patients who are most at risk.
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