Memories of intensive care and experiences of survivors of a critical illness: an interview study

Churchill Livingstone
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 2004, 20 pp. 257 - 263
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Recovery from a critical illness can be a complex and protracted process. It is known that for some, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) does not return to pre-illness levels for many months, and in some disease processes this may be longer. This study was undertaken as part of a larger project examining the pain and health status of survivors of a critical illness. The aims of the qualitative aspect of the study were to examine the participants' memories of intensive care and hospitalisation at 6 months post-discharge, and to explore the impact of the critical illness experience on their recovery. Purposive sampling was used to enable rich descriptions of the experience of recovery from those patients best able to articulate their experiences. Three common themes were found with our six participants: recollections, responses, and comfort/discomfort. Recovery from their critical illness continued to affect the participants and carers, some profoundly so. Better integration of services and continued support is required for survivors of a critical illness up to and beyond 6 months.
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