The use of diaries in psychological recovery from intensive care

Aitken, Leanne M, Rattray, Janice, Hull, Alastair, Kenardy, Justin A, Le Brocque, Robyne and Ullman, Amanda J (2013) The use of diaries in psychological recovery from intensive care. Critical Care, 17 6: 253.1-253.8. doi:10.1186/cc13164

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Author Aitken, Leanne M
Rattray, Janice
Hull, Alastair
Kenardy, Justin A
Le Brocque, Robyne
Ullman, Amanda J
Title The use of diaries in psychological recovery from intensive care
Journal name Critical Care   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1364-8535
Publication date 2013-12-18
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1186/cc13164
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 17
Issue 6
Start page 253.1
End page 253.8
Total pages 8
Place of publication Philadelphia, United States
Publisher Current Science Inc
Language eng
Abstract Intensive care patients frequently experience memory loss, nightmares, and delusional memories and some may develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. The use of diaries is emerging as a putative tool to 'fill the memory gaps' and promote psychological recovery. In this review, we critically analyze the available literature regarding the use and impact of diaries for intensive care patients specifically to examine the impact of diaries on intensive care patients' recovery. Diversity of practice in regard to the structure, content, and process elements of diaries for intensive care patients exists and emphasizes the lack of an underpinning psychological conceptualization. The use of diaries as an intervention to aid psychological recovery in intensive care patients has been examined in 11 studies, including two randomized controlled trials. Inconsistencies exist in sample characteristics, study outcomes, study methods, and the diary intervention itself, limiting the amount of comparison that is possible between studies. Measurement of the impact of the diary intervention on patient outcomes has been limited in both scope and time frame. Furthermore, an underpinning conceptualization or rationale for diaries as an intervention has not been articulated or tested. Given these significant limitations, although findings tend to be positive, implementation as routine clinical practice should not occur until a body of evidence is developed to inform methodological considerations and confirm proposed benefits.
Keyword Critical Care Medicine
General & Internal Medicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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