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Adult nursing
Intensive care nurses should seek to identify those patients at risk of developing post-traumatic stress syndrome
  1. Leah Hughes1,
  2. Joanne Michelle McPeake2
  1. 1 Intensive Care Unit, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, UK
  2. 2 School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Leah Hughes, Intensive Care Unit, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, G81 4HX, UK;{at}

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Commentary on: Wawer, E. Viprey, M. Floccard, B. Saoud, et al. (2020) Early detection of patients at risk of developing a post-traumatic disorder after an ICU stay. Critical Care Medicine 487(11):1572–9.

Implications for practice and research

  • Assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the immediate post-intensive care unit discharge period may help identify those at risk of developing psychological sequelae.

  • More research is needed into the prevention and identification of PTSD in this population, alongside evaluation of potential interventions.


The long-term consequences of a critical care admission are well established in the literature.1 A common psychological sequelae is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a process triggered by a significant trauma or event in a person’s life, such as critical illness. The documented prevalence of PTSD in critical care survivors varies widely; however, as many …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.