The need for critical care and the experience of being treated in the intensive care unit may be a traumatic event with long-lasting psychological consequences for the patient and family. Research has identified patients who are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder after an intensive care unit stay. This article reviews pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies, including the use of diaries or journals, that have been shown to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in intensive care unit patients and their families.
This article reviews various pharmacological and nonpharmacological methods, including the use of diaries, which have been shown to prevent posttraumatic stress syndrome in intensive care unit patients and their families.
Leslie Crabtree-Buckner, BSN, RN, CCRN, is an intensive care unit staff nurse at High Point Regional Hospital, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her master of science in nursing degree.
Donald D. Kautz, PhD, RN, CRRN, CNE, is an associate professor of nursing at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Donald D. Kautz, PhD, RN, CRRN, CNE, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170 (firstname.lastname@example.org).