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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205:2, 2022.
Article in English | English Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1880564
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 205:1, 2022.
Article in English | English Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1880114
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 203(9), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1277106


Introduction: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 20-30% of family members had symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, while 15-30% had symptoms of depression. Interventions supporting family members have reduced burden of these symptoms. COVID-19 has resulted in prolonged ICU stays, high morbidity/mortality, and hospital policies severely limiting family presence at the bedside. We hypothesized the combination of prolonged critical illness and the necessary reduction of family presence would lead to high rates of PTSD, anxiety, and depression;likely higher than observed in previous studies. Methods: This was a multicenter study including 12 US hospitals, 8 academic and 4 community-based hospitals. A consecutive sample of family members of all patients with COVID-19 receiving ICU admission during the spring US peak in 2020 were called 3-4 months after the patients' ICU admission, except for New York City hospitals where a random sample was generated given the large number of hospitalizations. Consented participants completed the Impact-of- Events Scale-6 (IES-6;scored 0-30, higher scores indicate more symptoms of PTSD), Hospital-Anxiety- Depression Score (HADS, scored 0-20 for anxiety and 0-20 for depression, higher scores indicate more symptoms), and a subset of questions from Family-Satisfaction in the ICU-27 (FS-ICU27;scored on a Likert scale 1 to 5, with higher scores indicating more positive responses) selected as most likely impacted by restrictive family presence.Results: There were 945 eligible family members during the study period. Of those, 594 were contacted and 269 (45.3%) consented and completed surveys. The mean IES-6 score was 12.6 (95% CI 11.8- 13.4) with 65.4% having a score of 10 or greater, consistent with high levels of symptoms of PTSD. The mean score on the HADS-anxiety was 9.4 (95% CI 8.8-10.1) with 59.5% having a score of 8 or greater, consistent with high levels of symptoms of anxiety. Finally, the mean score for the HADS-depression was 8.0 (95% CI 7.3-8.7) with 47.6% having scores of 8 or greater, consistent with high level of symptoms of depression. The mean response for the FSICU27 questions of “I felt I had control” was 3.5 (95% CI 3.3-3.6), “I felt supported” was 3.8 (95% CI 3.6-4.0), and “I felt included” was 4.3 (95% CI 4.2-4.4).Conclusion: The consequences of a family member admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 infection are significant. We identify rates of PTSD, anxiety, and depression higher than recorded in non-COVID population. Further analysis is warranted to understand modifiable risk factors for developing these symptoms.

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine ; 203(9), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1277046


RATIONALE: Currently, there are over 20,000 COVID-19 positive patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care in the United States (US). Even prior to the pandemic, up to 30% of family members of ICU patients experience post-traumatic stress disorder and up to 50% sustain potentially prolonged anxiety and/or depression. Although family bedside engagement improves both short-and long-term outcomes for patients and their families, nationwide social distancing recommendations have curtailed hospital visitation, potentially heightening the risk of stress-related disorders in these family members. The goal of this analysis is to explore the experiences of physically distanced family members of COVID-19 ICU patients in order to inform future best practices. Methods: This qualitative analysis is part of a multisite, observational, mixed-methods study of 12 US hospitals. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 75 participants from five sites;14 interviews were analyzed in this preliminary analysis. Adult family members of COVID-19 positive patients admitted to the ICU from March-June 2020 were interviewed three months post-discharge. After sequential screening by site coordinators, participants were contacted by the qualitative team until all interviews (10-15 per site) were completed. Qualitative interviews explored the illness stories, communication perceptions, and explored stressors. Thematic analysis was applied to the verbatim transcripts of the phone interviews. Four coders utilized an iteratively-developed codebook to analyze transcripts using a round-robin method with two analysts per transcript. Discrepant codes were adjudicated by a third analyst to attend to inter-rater reliability. Results: Five preliminary themes and seven subthemes emerged (Table 1). Positive communication experiences were more common than negative ones. Communication themes were: 1) Participants were reassured by proactive and frequent communication, leaving them feeling informed and included in care;and 2) Mixed feelings were expressed about the value of video-conferencing technology. Themes from the emotional and stress experiences were: 3) Profound sadness and distress resulted from isolation from patients, clinicians, and supportive family;4) Stress was amplified by external factors;and 5) Positive experiences centered upon appreciation for healthcare workers and gratitude for compassionate care. Conclusion: Incorporating the voices of family members during the COVID-19 pandemic establishes a foundation to inform family-centered, best practice guidelines to support the unique needs of family members who are physically distant from their critically ill and dying loved ones.