“PTSD can drastically impact a person’s ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy,” says Joe Bienvenu, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This is why our findings are important and why it’s so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD.”
Similar research was done in years past, but there was much less data at that time. “We now have a larger data set to review and learn from,” says Ann Parker, a fellow in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “These data could help us develop better prevention methods for ICU-induced PTSD.”
Through a systematic literature review, the research team looked at 40 studies of 36 unique patient cohorts with a total of more than 3,000 patients who survived a critical illness and ICU stay. The researchers excluded patients who had suffered a trauma, such as a car crash, or brain injury because those patients’ cognitive and psychological outcomes can be affected by the injury itself, rather than the critical illness/ICU stay. They found that the prevalence of PTSD in the studies ranged from 10 to 60 percent.
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