The significant morbidity and disability that family members of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) can experience has been recognized in the past decade. The Society of Critical Care Medicine calls this condition post–intensive care syndrome (PICS). However, as more and more adult ICU patients require long-term acute care hospitalization (LTACH), little is known about PICS in the families of these patients.
Petrinec studied LTACH family decision makers during the hospitalization and up to 2 months after discharge. She found the following:
About 10% met the criteria for a provisional diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Moderate to severe anxiety symptoms during hospitalization decreased over time.
Problem-focused coping strategies were the type used the most at all time points.
Avoidant coping was associated with increased severity of PICS.
Quality-of-life scores were lower than US norms.
The author recommends early recognition of PICS in...