Posttraumatic stress disorder following critical illness

Crit Care Clin. 2008 Oct;24(4):875-87, ix-x. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2008.06.002.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric condition that can occur after a traumatic event. Individuals exposed to traumatic events are at risk for PTSD and other psychologic morbidity, such as depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and substance abuse. The burden of PTSD can be high, with inability to work or return to prior levels of functioning. Emerging literature suggests a significantly increased risk for symptoms of PTSD among survivors of critical illness and the families of patients who survive or die after critical illness. This review summarizes these studies and provides suggestions for current clinical implications and for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / classification
  • Critical Illness / psychology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / classification
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology