Author(s): Corrigan I, Samuelson KA, Fridlund B, Thom B
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Abstract Traumatic events connected with a critical condition and treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) may result in subsequent posttraumatic stress-reactions. The aim of this phenomenological study was to describe the meaning of posttraumatic stress-reactions as experienced by individuals following a critical illness or injury and intensive care. Fourteen informants, testing positive for posttraumatic stress-reactions as a clinical concern, were interviewed. The data was analysed following the principles indicated by Giorgi [Giorgi A. The theory, practice, and evaluation of the phenomenological method as a qualitative research procedure. J Phenomenol Psychol 1997;28:235-61]. The essence of the phenomenon of posttraumatic stress-reactions was understood as a transition to a life-situation beyond control, where the traumatic experiences have a profound impact and are ever-present. The variations of the phenomenon presented themselves as a need to make sense of the traumatic memories, which live on; being haunted by the trauma; a need to escape; distress and strain in the life-situation; transformation of self and, finally, interactions with others affected. The need for caring strategies and support is emphasised, both in the ICU and afterwards, thus preventing or alleviating some of the suffering.
This article was published in Intensive Crit Care Nurs
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy