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The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in relatives of severe trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit

Author(s): Pillai L | Ambike D | Husainy S | Vaidya N | Kulkarni S | Aigolikar S

Journal: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
ISSN 0972-5229

Volume: 10;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 181;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder | psychological symptoms | trauma

Aim: To study the prevalence of symptoms suggestive of post-traumatic stress disorder in relatives of severe trauma patients admitted to the ICU. Materials and Methods: 177 relatives of trauma patients admitted to the ICU were studied to evaluate the negative psychological impact resulting from this admission by using the impact of event scale-revised [IES-R]. About 76 of these relatives could be followed up again with questionnaire after 2 years. Result: Of the 177 relatives, 85 (48%) were males and 92 (52%) females with no statistically significant difference in their scores. About 7 days after admission, 34-54% of the 177 relatives had moderate and 19-41% had severe symptoms suggestive of PTSD. For the 76 relatives who participated in both 2002 and 2004, symptoms suggestive of PTSD were moderate in 39-61% and severe in 12-39% initially. After 2 years the scores were moderate in 12-14% and severe in 4-5%. Maximum scores amongst the three subscales were for hyperarrousal symptom with mean scores of 2.1±1. In the group-which could be followed up after 2 years, initially 79% of the respondents had sum of IES-R scores ?26 suggesting severe symptoms, which declined to 14% after 2 years. Conclusion: Findings of this study suggest that 79% of the relatives of severe trauma patients develop PTSD symptoms following ICU admission. In most, the scores reduced with time but 14% continued to have severe scores at the end of 2 years suggesting the presence of persisting psychological disturbance in them.
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