Journal article

A Communication Strategy and Brochure for Relatives of Patients Dying in the ICU

Lautrette A, Darmon M, Megarbane B, Joly L, Chevret S, Adrie C, Barnoud D, Bleichner G, Bruel C, Choukroun G, Curtis J, Fieux F, Galliot R, Garrouste-Orgeas M, Georges H, Goldgran-Toledano D, Jourdain M, Loubert G, Reignier J, Saidi F, Souweine B, Vincent F, Barnes N, Pochard F, Schlemmer B, Azoulay E ...see all

New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 356, issue 5 (2007) pp. 469-478

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BACKGROUND There is a need for close communication with relatives of patients dying in the intensive care unit (ICU). We evaluated a format that included a proactive end-of-life conference and a brochure to see whether it could lessen the effects of bereavement. METHODS Family members of 126 patients dying in 22 ICUs in France were randomly assigned to the intervention format or to the customary end-of-life conference. Participants were interviewed by telephone 90 days after the death with the use of the Impact of Event Scale (IES; scores range from 0, indicating no symptoms, to 75, indicating severe symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS; subscale scores range from 0, indicating no distress, to 21, indicating maximum distress). RESULTS Participants in the intervention group had longer conferences than those in the control group (median, 30 minutes [interquartile range, 19 to 45] vs. 20 minutes [interquartile range, 15 to 30]; P

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  • Alexandre Lautrette

  • Michael Darmon

  • Bruno Megarbane

  • Luc Marie Joly

  • Sylvie Chevret

  • Christophe Adrie

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