Post traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, and depression in patients after intensive care unit discharge - a longitudinal cohort study from a LMIC tertiary care centre

BMC Psychiatry. 2020 May 12;20(1):220. doi: 10.1186/s12888-020-02632-x.


Background: Data on intensive care unit (ICU) related psychiatric morbidity from Low Middle-Income Countries are sparse. We studied the ICU related posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), anxiety, and depression symptoms in a cohort of patients from Eastern India.

Methods: We included adults admitted more than 24 h to a mixed ICU. PTSS, anxiety, and depression symptoms were assessed by telephonic or face to face interviews by using the Impact of Events-r (IES-r) and Hospital anxiety and depression (HADS), respectively, at 0, 7,14, 30, 90 and 180 days from ICU discharge. The loss to follow up was minimal. Demographic, socioeconomic, quality of life (QOL), and critical care related variables were studied.

Results: Of 527 patients, 322 (59.4%) completed 6 months' follow up. The majority were male (60%), mechanically ventilated > 48 h (59.4%), mean age of 48 (+/- 16), mean acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE II) at admission 9.4 (+/- 4.6), median length of stay 3 (2-28 days). The rates of ICU related clinical PTSS was < 1 and < 3% for anxiety/depression at any point of follow up. Data were analyzed by linear mixed (random effects) models. There was a significant drop in all scores and association with repeated measures over time. Poor QOL at discharge from the ICU showed significant association with PTSS, anxiety, and depression (β = - 2.94, - 1.34, - 0.7 respectively) when corrected for gender and education levels. Younger age, greater severity of illness, and prior stressful life experiences predicted worse PTSS (β = - 0.02, 0.08, 3.82, respectively). Benzodiazepines and lower sedation scores (better alertness) predicted lower depression symptoms. (β = - 0.43, 0.37 respectively).

Conclusion: ICU related psychiatric morbidity rates in our population are low compared with reported rates in the literature. Poor QOL at ICU discharge may predict worse long-term mental health outcomes. Further research on the impact of ICU and sociocultural factors on mental health outcomes in patients from different backgrounds is needed. The study was registered at CTRI/2017/07/008959.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; India; Intensive care; Low middle-income countries; Mental health; Outcomes; Posttraumatic stress symptoms; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Care
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Survivors
  • Tertiary Care Centers

Associated data

  • CTRI/CTRI/2017/07/008959