Trajectories of post-traumatic stress in sepsis survivors two years after ICU discharge: a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial

Konrad F.R. Schmidt*, Jochen S. Gensichen, Maya Schroevers, Martina Kaufmann, Friederike Mueller, Gustav Schelling, Sabine Gehrke-Beck, Monique Boede, Christoph Heintze, Michel Wensing, Daniel Schwarzkopf

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Background: Post-traumatic stress has been identified as a frequent long-term complication in survivors of critical illnesses after sepsis. Little is known about long-term trajectories of post-traumatic stress and potentially modifiable risk factors following the ICU stay. Study objective was to explore and compare different clinical trajectories of post-traumatic stress symptoms in sepsis survivors up to two years after discharge from ICU. 

Methods: Data on post-traumatic stress symptoms by means of the Post-traumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10) were collected in sepsis survivors at one, six, 12 and 24 months after discharge from ICU. Data on chronic psychiatric diagnoses prior ICU were derived from the primary care provider’s health records, and data on intensive care treatment from ICU documentation. Trajectories of post-traumatic symptoms were identified ex post, discriminating patterns of change and k-means clustering. Assignment to the trajectories was predicted in multinomial log-linear models. 

Results: At 24 months, all follow-up measurements of the PTSS-10 were completed in N = 175 patients. Three clusters could be identified regarding clinical trajectories of PTSS levels: stable low symptoms (N = 104 patients [59%]), increasing symptoms (N = 45 patients [26%]), and recovering from symptoms (N = 26 patients [15%]). Patients with initially high post-traumatic symptoms were more likely to show a decrease (OR with 95% CI: 1.1 [1.05, 1.16]). Females (OR = 2.45 [1.11, 5.41]) and patients reporting early traumatic memories of the ICU (OR = 4.04 [1.63, 10]) were at higher risk for increasing PTSS levels. 

Conclusion: Post-traumatic stress is a relevant long-term burden for sepsis patients after ICU stay. Identification of three different trajectories within two years after ICU discharge highlights the importance of long-term observation, as a quarter of patients reports few symptoms at discharge yet an increase in symptoms in the two years following. Regular screening of ICU survivors on post-traumatic stress should be considered even in patients with few symptoms and in particular in females and patients reporting traumatic memories of the ICU.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftCritical care
StatusPublished - 29-jan.-2024


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