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Psychological implications of admission to critical care
Admission to critical care can have far-reaching psychological effects because of the distinct environment. Critical care services are being re-shaped to address long-term sequelae, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. The long-term consequences of critical illness not only cost the individual, but also have implications for society, such as diminished areas of health-related quality-of-life in sleep, reduced ability to return to work and enjoy recreational activities (Audit Commission, 1999; Hayes et al, 2000). The debate around the phenomenon of intensive care unit (ICU) syndrome is discussed with reference to current thinking. After critical care, patients may experience amnesia, continued hallucinations or flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and dreams and nightmares. Nursing care for patients while in the critical care environment can have a positive effect on psychological well-being. Facilitating communication, explaining care and rationalizing interventions, ensuring patients are orientated to time and place, reassuring patients about transfer, providing patients, where possible, with information about critical care before admission and considering anxiolytic use, are all practices that have a beneficial impact on patient care. Follow-up services can help patients come to terms with their experiences of critical illness and provide the opportunity for them to access further intervention if required. Working towards providing optimal psycholog
PMID : 16116371 ISSN : 0966-0461
British journal of nursing A. 2005, vol. 14, n° 13, pp. 708-714 [7 pages]
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