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Perspectives of patients and family members regarding psychological support using intensive care diaries: An exploratory mixed methods study

Aitken, L. M. ORCID: 0000-0001-5722-9090, Rattray, J., Kenardy, J. A. , Hull, A. M., Ullman, A. J., Le Brocque, R., Mitchell, M., Davis, C., Castillo, M. I. & Macfarlane, B. (2016). Perspectives of patients and family members regarding psychological support using intensive care diaries: An exploratory mixed methods study. Journal of Critical Care, 38, pp. 263-268. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.12.003


PURPOSE: Diaries summarizing intensive care are routine practice in some countries, although evidence to support diary use is limited. The purpose of this study was to identify whether distress post-intensive care influences patients' and relatives' choice as to whether they would like to receive a diary and what information delivery method is preferred.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Intensive care patients admitted for at least 3 days and their relatives participated in an exploratory mixed methods study. Interviews were conducted 3 to 5 months after discharge. Psychological distress was assessed using Kessler-10 and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Checklist - 5. Perceptions of benefit of diaries were assessed using a 4-point Likert scale. Differences were examined using Fisher exact test (P<.05).

RESULTS: Fifty-seven patients and 22 relatives consented to participation, with 22 patients and 22 relatives interviewed before data saturation. Psychological distress was evident in 25 (47%) patients and 5 (23%) relatives. Participants' psychological health was similar for those who perceived diaries as beneficial, and those who did not. Themes included memory, process, and impact, although opinions were diverse.

CONCLUSIONS: Patient and relative preferences of receiving a diary are not related to psychological distress. Diverse opinions around common themes suggest the need for a range of interventions to aid psychological recovery.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Recovery, Posttraumatic stress, Anxiety, Depression, Intensive care, Intensive care diaries
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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