In survivors of critical illness, recall of an intensive care unit stay plays an important role in the development of post–intensive care unit syndrome, which includes psychological impairment after intensive care unit discharge.
To investigate memories of the intensive care unit among survivors in southeast Iran.
In this descriptive study, the intensive care unit memory tool was used to assess patients’ memories of intensive care units.
All participants (N = 100) had 1 or more factual memories (89%), memories of feelings (66%), or delusional memories (34%) from the intensive care unit. Patients who received mechanical ventilation were 4 times as likely to have delusional memories as those who did not receive mechanical ventilation. Unmarried patients were 4.8 times as likely as married patients to have memories of feelings from the intensive care unit.
Steps should be taken to minimize distressing memories of an intensive care unit admission. Follow-up programs should take into account the psychological problems faced by intensive care unit survivors.