Monday, October 3, 2022

Anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms common to families of Covid-19 ICU patients, study says

It is a quiet day at the base camp when suddenly the enemy strikes. The main character is scrambling to respond to the oncoming fire, making quick decisions about how to respond to a threat that is largely out of his control.

“When you put it in the hospital, there’s a sudden change in health status, mom or dad was healthy yesterday and now they’re in the ICU,” said study first author Amas.

Admitting a loved one to the ICU has always been an inherently stressful and often painful process, but the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted researchers to look at the effects even closer, he said.

Amas and his team surveyed family members over the months when a loved one was admitted to the ICU with Covid-19 in 12 hospitals across the country. Many of the people studied were limited in visitation and contact with the patient.

The study found that of the 316 households that responded, 201 (about 63%) had significant symptoms of PTSD.

There’s a chance that those who experienced the most emotional difficulty responded at higher rates and the findings could exacerbate PTSD symptoms, said Dr., vice president of clinical research in the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. Murray Stein said. Diego School of Medicine. Stein was not involved in the study.

Stein, a distinguished professor of psychiatry and public health at UC San Francisco, said, “All that said, even though the rates are only half as high as this study, they are still dangerously high and point to a need for emotional support.” Huh.” Diego.

Especially at the start of the pandemic, many families struggled with not having as much access to visitation and communication, said Dr., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Timothy Amas said.

Adding Focus to Families

There are two important steps the health care community can take to help improve the experience for families: pay attention to their risk factors and make a bigger effort to empower them, Amas said.

“The literature actually suggests that the more you can engage someone at the bedside, the more empowered they feel to express their own needs and the needs of their loved one,” he said.

In addition to the survey, the study also used narrative interviews to get more details about a gap for families.

Self-care will not save us from exhaustion.  this could be another strategy

Some were able to feel employees going the extra mile to make them feel connected and included even when they weren’t there.

According to the study, a family member said, “The thing that made video visits, video calls and daily updates easier. I called the nurses every day and talked to them, talked to the doctor.”

But other survey participants felt that the communication they received was limited and reported feeling powerless and scared.

“They called us and said, ‘Do you want us to pull the plug?’ … I said how did it go from coming home to pulling the plug? … they say her mouth was shaking and her eyes were moving but they said she was dead … so, they went ahead Pulled the plug anyway,” said another family member.

Despite My Health Challenges, I Choose to Heal

Especially at the start of the pandemic, hospitals were overwhelmed, and staff members worked extensive hours to provide the best care possible. Amas said it’s often small acts of kindness that families need to feel a sense of involvement and care for their loved one — such as asking for a picture hospital staff can hang up to make the patient feel happy. .

“Even that small act of compassion for the family from the health care team can have really powerful implications for those family members and their risk of developing these (PTSD) symptoms,” Amas said.

Stein said more research may be needed to figure out the best way for health care providers to connect with families after an ICU stay, but this most recent study suggests that more robust services are needed.

“The scores from these surveys were so high that I would advocate for providers to actively screen these family members for depression, anxiety, and PTSD so they can receive therapy,” Amas said.

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Nation World News Desk
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