Background: There is a high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in relatives of intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Aims: To determine the prevalence and predictors of symptoms of PTSD in relatives of an Australian critically ill population. Methods: 108 consecutive patients staying >48. h in a mixed, level three ICU were identified. On day three of admission, their next-of-kin were contacted and consent obtained for a telephonic questionnaire to be done at 90 days after ICU discharge. This consisted of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) questionnaires administered to relatives at 90 days post-discharge from the ICU. An IES-R score of >26 was used to define PTSD symptoms. Results: Eight subjects were excluded because the next-of-kin details were unavailable. 37 other subjects refused to participate. Out of a total of 108, 63 family members were included, including 49 next-of-kin of patients who survived. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms was 41.2% (26/63, 95% CI 29.0-54.4%). The anxiety score was found to be a predictor of PTSD symptoms (relative risk. = 1.07; 95% CI 1.00-1.14, p= 0.05). Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of PTSD symptoms in next-of-kin of Australian patients admitted to the ICU. High anxiety scores were a predictor for developing PTSD symptoms.
- Intensive care unit