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

Leanne M. Aitken (Lead / Corresponding author), Janice Rattray, Justin Kenardy, Alastair M. Hull, Amanda J. Ullman, Robyne Le Brocque, Marion Mitchell, Chelsea Davis, Maria I. Castillo, Bonnie Macfarlane

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Volume38
Early online date11 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Recovery
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Intensive care
  • Intensive care diaries

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    Aitken, L. M., Rattray, J., Kenardy, J., Hull, A. M., Ullman, A. J., Le Brocque, R., Mitchell, M., Davis, C., Castillo, M. I., & Macfarlane, B. (2017). Perspectives of patients and family members regarding psychological support using intensive care diaries: an exploratory mixed methods study. Journal of Critical Care, 38, 263-268. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.12.003