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Title: A preliminary analysis of the prevalence of post-traumatic symptomatology and other psychological sequelae amongst ICU survivors
Author: Jones, Aidan
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1998
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Life threatening illness is now recognised as constituting a 'criterion A' stressor event (DSM-IV, 1994). To date no systematic research has been conducted to examine the prevalence of post-traumatic stress symptoms amongst survivors of intensive care treatment. This exploratory study examined levels of psychological distress and trauma symptoms amongst a sample (N=80) of discharged I.C.U patients by self-report postal questionnaire. Levels of psychological distress and trauma symptoms were measured by the 'Trauma Symptom Checklist-33' (Briere and Runtz, 1989), the 'Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale' (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) and the 'Impact of Events Scale-Revised' (Weiss and Marmar, 1997). A short 7 item questionnaire, 'Experience after Treatment in Intensive Care' (ETIC-Q), was specifically designed for the study to access trauma symptoms linked to the intensive care experience. In addition respondents were asked to complete the 'Attitudes Towards Emotional Expression Scale' (Joseph, Williams, Irwing and Cammock, 1994). Elevated rates of psychological distress were found amongst the sample of I.C.U survivors with 12 patients (8 women, 4 men) reporting psychological trauma symptoms likely to elicit a diagnosis of PTSD. Experience linked to I.C.U treatment best predicted psychological distress and trauma symptoms. In addition, negative attitudes towards emotional expression (i.e. the belief that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness and fears of rejection if emotion is expressed) also predicted psychological distress symptoms, especially anxiety, depression and avoidant symptomatology characteristic of post-traumatic reactions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available