People who survive life-threatening illnesses in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital are at high risk for depression and anxiety and nearly a quarter suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to new research published in the journal of Critical Care Medicine. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, found that, following a stay in the ICU, patients who are young, unemployed, female, or who are prescribed opioids longer-term, are at the highest risk for persistent psychiatric symptoms.
“PTSD can drastically impact a person’s ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy,” Joe Bienvenu, a psychiatrist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a press release. “This is why our findings are important and why it’s so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD.”
Joseph Bienvenu, Elizabeth Colantuoni, Pedro A. Mendez-Tellez, Carl Shanholtz, Cheryl R. Dennison-Himmelfarb, Peter J. Pronovost, Dale M. Needham. Cooccurrence of and Remission From General Anxiety, Depression, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms After Acute Lung Injury. Critical Care Medicine, 2015; 43 (3): 642 DOI: (Abstract)