Evid Based Nurs 10:85 doi:10.1136/ebn.10.3.85
  • Treatment

A proactive communication strategy reduced post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in relatives of patients dying in the ICU

 Q Does an end-of-life family conference held according to specific guidelines reduce the burden of bereavement on relatives of patients dying in the intensive care unit (ICU)?



randomised controlled trial.


unclear concealment.


blinded (data collectors and data analysts).

GraphicFollow up period:

90 days.


22 ICUs in France.


126 patients ⩾18 years of age (56% men) in the ICU who were expected to die within the next few days. Each patient had 1 family member (median age 54 y, 73% women) whom they had designated or who ranked highest in the hierarchy for surrogate decision making according to French law; these family members were interviewed at 90 days after the patient’s death.


family members were allocated to a proactive communication strategy plus a bereavement brochure (n = 63) or …

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