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Psychological problems in the family members of gravely traumatised patients admitted into an intensive care unit


The aim of these studies was the analysis of the psychological repercussions on the closest members of families of 76 gravely traumatised patients admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Hospital Universitario de Rehabilitación y Traumatología “Virgen del Rocio”, Sevilla (Spain). An investigation based on social information and the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire was used. The sample of family members was composed of 42 women and 34 men, with an average age of 41.3 years (SD±12.8). Results showed that (a) more than 50% of the family members of gravely traumatised patients admitted into an ICU showed symptoms of depression, (b) the women scored more points in hypochondria, suicidal depression, anxious depression, low-energy depression, guilt-resentment, apathy-withdrawal, paranoia, schizophrenia, psychasthenia and psychological disadjustment, and (c) in general terms, the psychological characteristics of the families were far from the norm of the control group.

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This work was supported by grants from “Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias de la Seguridad Social” (FIS 90/0053, and FIS 90/4039)

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Pérez-San Gregorio, M.A., Blanco-Picabia, A., Murillo-Cabezas, F. et al. Psychological problems in the family members of gravely traumatised patients admitted into an intensive care unit. Intensive Care Med 18, 278–281 (1992).

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Key words

  • Psychology
  • Families
  • Intensive care unit