ICU Diary: Supporting the Intensive Care Patients Transition from the ICU
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Saturday, July 26, 2014: Critically ill patients have reported psychological problems which have been attributed to distorted perceptions or delusional memories and gaps in their memories of their stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). The integrated practice of keeping an intensive care diary for the critically ill patient originated in the Scandinavian countries. The common theme of this international presentation is the intensive care patient diary. A review of literature indicated the ICU diary provides a timeline of what happened to the patient while they were in the ICU. Research indicated it is not unusual for the critically ill patient to not remember what happened to them during their stay in the ICU. The patient's inability to remember what happened has been link to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The ICU diary is a cost effective therapeutic tool that contributes not only to the physical but the psychological rehabilitation of the patient. The ICU diary provides handwritten entries by the registered nurses and family members and photographs taken of the patient. The photographs provide a visual timeline picture of the patient from the point of being critically ill. Since the patient has no memory of what happened to them, prior research results indicate it is normal for the critically ill patient to not believe they had been that ill. It is also normal for the patient to compare their current physical ability prior to his or her being sick rather than measuring their progress from when they got sick. It is imperative the patient be able to rate their recovery from the point of illness, allowing them to see how far they have progressed. Family members watching the patient experience a life-threatening illness have also reported experiencing PTSD related symptoms.