(HealthDay)—Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are common in patients recovering from acute lung injury (ALI), according to a study published online March 5 in Psychological Medicine.
O. Joseph Bienvenu, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues recruited patients from 13 intensive care units (ICUs) in four hospitals, with follow-up at three, six, 12, and 24 months after ALI onset. Impact of Events Scale Revised mean score was assessed, with scores of 1.6 or higher defined as PTSD symptoms.
The researchers found that 66 of 186 patients (35 percent) had PTSD symptoms, with the greatest prevalence by the three-month follow-up. Of patients with post-ALI PTSD symptoms, 56 survived to the 24-month follow-up, and 35 (62 percent) of these had PTSD symptoms at the 24-month follow-up, 50 percent had taken psychiatric medications, and 40 percent had seen a psychiatrist since hospital discharge. Factors affecting PTSD symptoms were pre-ALI depression, ICU length of stay, proportion of ICU days with sepsis, high ICU opiate doses, and proportion of ICU days on opiates or corticosteroids.
"PTSD symptoms are common, long-lasting, and associated with psychiatric treatment during the first two years after ALI," write the authors.
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