PICU-Associated Parental PTSD: Beyond the First Year
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Administration, Behavioral Health and Well Being, 2022
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INTRODUCTION: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress related alteration in mental health which continues greater than 30 days after the inciting event and causes significant impairment in daily functioning. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) associated parental PTSD occurs in 13-22% of parents within the 12 months following discharge from the PICU. We hypothesize that parental PTSD remains prevalent in the 18-30 months post discharge and is associated with specific identifiable factors. METHODS: Prospective cohort study running over 42 months evaluating 265 parents of patients unexpectedly admitted to two mixed medical/surgical PICUs from June 2016- August 2017. RESULTS: 175 (66%) parents completed the PTSD Symptom Scale Interview at 18 – 30 months post-discharge. 22 parents (12.5%) qualified for PTSD and 59 (33.7%) had significant PTSD symptoms.  On univariate regression analysis, the following parents were significantly more likely to develop PTSD: those diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) prior to PICU discharge (p= 0.002); those who had concerns of potential death of their child (p=0.008); those who had concerns of permanent injury to their child (p=0.002); and/or those who had concerns about their child’s susceptibility to death post-discharge (p < 0.001).  Parents who qualified for PTSD were also more likely to have gotten divorced/separated (p=0.002) and/or had their income decline(p=0.002) during the follow up period. Child associated univariate risk factors included new home ventilation requirement (p=0.005), previous ICU admission (p=0.034), intubation (p=0.014), ECMO (p=0.029) and PICU length of stay (p=0.016). On multivariate regression modeling, the following parents were significantly more likely to develop PTSD: those diagnosed with ASD (p=0.034); those whose child had a previous ICU admission (p=0.0015); those who experienced income decline (p=0.010); and those who had concerns of child susceptibility to death post-discharge (p=0.001). CONCLUSION: Two years after discharge 1 in 8 parents still qualified for PTSD and remarkably 1 in 3 had significant PTSD symptoms. Our study showed that there are identifiable factors associated with parental PTSD that are present during admission, potentially showing a path towards inpatient intervention for high-risk groups.
Meta Tag
Content Type Presentation
Knowledge Area Administration
Knowledge Area Behavioral Health and Well Being
Knowledge Level Intermediate
Knowledge Level Advanced
Membership Level Select
Tag Pediatric Intensive Care Unit PICU
Tag Patient and Family Support
Tag Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
Year 2022
Project Pointer
educational curriculum
bedside care
resident education


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