Modifiable elements of ICU supportive care and communication are associated with surrogates' PTSD symptoms.
PURPOSE: To identify specific components of ICU clinician supportive care and communication that are associated with increased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for surrogate decision makers of patients with chronic critical illness (CCI). METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of palliative care-led meetings to provide information and support for CCI surrogates. The primary outcome for this secondary analysis was PTSD symptoms at 90 days, measured by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Caregiver perceptions of clinician support and communication were assessed using a version of the After-Death Bereaved Family Member Interview (ADBFMI) instrument modified for use in non-bereaved in addition to bereaved caregivers. The association between ADBFMI items and IES-R score was analyzed using multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Ninety-day follow up was complete for 306 surrogates corresponding to 224 patients. Seventy-one percent of surrogates were female, and the mean age was 51 years. Of the domains, negative perception of the patient's physical comfort and emotional support was associated with the greatest increase in surrogate PTSD symptoms (beta coefficient 1.74, 95% CI 0.82-2.65). The three specific preselected items associated with increased surrogate PTSD symptoms were surrogate perception that clinicians did not listen to concerns (beta coefficient 10.7, 95% CI 3.6-17.9), failure of the physician to explain how the patient's pain would be treated (beta coefficient 12.1, 95% CI 4.9-19.3), and lack of sufficient religious contact (beta coefficient 11.7, 95% CI 2-21.3). CONCLUSION: Modifiable deficits in ICU clinician support and communication were associated with increased PTSD symptoms among CCI surrogates.
Wendlandt, B; Ceppe, A; Choudhury, S; Cox, CE; Hanson, LC; Danis, M; Tulsky, JA; Nelson, JE; Carson, SS
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