1102 GMT August 17, 2019
However, in a recent Johns Hopkins study, researchers found that nearly one-quarter of ICU survivors suffer from PTSD. They also identified possible triggers for PTSD and indicated a potential preventive strategy: having patients keep ICU diaries, myptsd.com reported.
"PTSD can drastically impact a person's ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy," said Joe Bienvenu, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "This is why our findings are important and why it's so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD."
Through a systematic literature review, the research team looked at 40 studies of 36 unique patient cohorts with a total of more than 3,000 patients who survived a critical illness and ICU stay. They found that the prevalence of PTSD in the studies ranged from 10 to 60 percent.
To pinpoint a more definitive estimate of PTSD prevalence, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of a subset of the 40 studies. They selected six studies, with a total of about 450 patients, that used a PTSD measurement tool called the Impact of Event Scale between one and six months after ICU discharge. From these data, they found that one in four patients had symptoms of PTSD. The researchers repeated the same meta-analysis for studies that looked at patients seven to 12 months after an ICU stay and found that one in five patients had PTSD.