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Title: Effect of an ICU diary on psychiatric disorders, quality of life, and sleep quality among adult cardiac surgical ICU survivors: a randomized controlled trial
Authors: Wang, S
Xin, HN
Vico, C 
Liao, JH
Li, SL
Xie, NM
Hu, RF
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Critical care, 6 Mar. 2020, v. 24, 81, p. 1-10
Abstract: Background: Although studies on the effectiveness of the use of ICU diaries on psychiatric disorders and quality of life have been published, the results still seem to be controversial. The study aimed to determine the effects of using an ICU diary on psychiatric disorders, sleep quality, and quality of life (QoL) in adult ICU survivors in China.
Methods: One hundred and twenty-six patients who underwent a scheduled cardiac surgery and were expected to stay >= 24 h in ICU were randomized to two groups (63 in each group). The patients in the intervention group received the use of ICU diaries during the period of post-ICU follow-up, while the patients in the control group received usual care without ICU diaries. The primary outcome was significant PTSD symptoms (Chinese version of Impact of Event Scale-Revised, IES-R; total score >= 35 was defined as significant PTSD symptoms) and its severity in patients 3 months post-ICU. The secondary outcomes included memories of the ICU at 1 month, QoL (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form, SF-36), sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index Questionnaire, PSQI), anxiety, and depression symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS) at 3 months.
Results: Eighty-five and 83 patients completed the follow-up interviews at 1 month and 3 months post-ICU, respectively. Significant PTSD symptoms were reported by 6 of 41 (14.63%) in the intervention group vs 9 of 42 (21.43%) in the control group (risk difference, - 9% [95% CI, - 2% to 21%], P = 0.10). There was no significant differences between groups in IES-R score, symptoms of intrusion, symptoms of avoidance, numbers of memories of feeling and delusional memories, SF-36 score and anxiety score (P > 0.05), while significant differences were found in symptom of hyperarousal score, numbers of factual memories and PSQI score (P < 0.05). No adverse effect was reported.
Conclusions: Using an ICU diary is not useful for preventing PTSD symptoms and anxiety symptoms and preserving the quality of life of the patients at 3 months post-ICU, while it significantly improves the survivor's factual memory of ICU and sleep quality, and prevents the hyperarousal symptom.
Keywords: Intensive care unit
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Quality of life
ICU memory
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal: Critical care 
ISSN: 1364-8535
EISSN: 1466-609X
DOI: 10.1186/s13054-020-2797-7
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
The following publication Wang, S., Xin, H., Chung Lim Vico, C. et al. Effect of an ICU diary on psychiatric disorders, quality of life, and sleep quality among adult cardiac surgical ICU survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Crit Care 24, 81 (2020) is available at
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