Patient characteristics associated with posttraumatic stress symptoms in intensive care unit survivors during a one-year follow-up: A multicenter study

Heart Lung. 2024 Jun-Aug:66:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2024.02.011. Epub 2024 Mar 15.


Background: Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are at risk of suffering from posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) after ICU survival.

Objectives: To describe the prevalence of high levels of PTSS the first year after ICU admission. Further, to identify specific combinations of patient characteristics (latent classes based on pre-ICU data, demographics, and clinical characteristics), and to investigate possible associations among these classes and PTSS at 3, 6, and 12 months after ICU admission.

Methods: Self-reported PTSS were measured with Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). PTSS and possible predictive factors (pre-ICU data, demographics, and clinical characteristics) were analyzed using descriptive statistics, latent class analysis, and linear mixed model for repeated measures.

Results: High PTSS levels (IES-R ≥ 33) were reported by 14.9 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] [10.0; 21.1]), 16.7 % (95 % CI [11.5; 23.1]), and 18.4 % (95 % CI [12.9; 25.0]) of patients (sample 1, n = 174) at 3, 6, and 12 months, respectively. Three latent classes were identified (sample 2, n = 417). PTSS were significantly associated with class 2 (male with longer hospital stay) at 6 months and class 3 (age≥70, lower level of education, higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score, being mechanically ventilated) at all three measurement times.

Conclusions: The prevalence of high levels of PTSS is the greatest 12 months after ICU admission. Health professionals can use this information to be aware of specific groups of ICU patients reporting PTSS during the first year and follow up on these.

Keywords: Intensive care unit patient; Latent class analysis; Longitudinal; Mixed model for repeated measures; Posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Critical Illness / epidemiology
  • Critical Illness / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units* / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / psychology
  • Survivors* / psychology
  • Survivors* / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors