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

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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)?


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

unclear concealment.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (data collectors and data analysts).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

90 days.

Embedded ImageSetting:

22 ICUs in France.

Embedded ImagePatients:

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 …

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  • For correspondence: Dr E Azoulay, Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France. elie.azoulay{at}

  • Sources of funding: Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris and French Society for Critical Care Medicine.