Recent progress in medicine and technology has produced a significant increase in the survival rate of critically ill patients who have been treated in Intensive Care Units (ICU). Consequently, researchers have become increasingly interested in the relationship between critical illness and psychiatric consequences. The experience of critical illness has been often associated with Major Depression (MD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There has been no similar study in Greece. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of MD and PTSD among patients after discharge from ICU in comparison with patients who discharge from pathological or surgical department. The study was conducted on five major hospitals “ATTIKON”, “THRIASSIO”, “KAT”, “GNA GENNIMATAS”, “KORGIALENIO – BENAKIO”. A standardized instrument was used especially for this study and is based on “ΜΙΝΙ: Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview” and DSM-IV. The data collection was carried out through personal interviews with the patients. It is a cross-sectional study and also a case-control study. The sample of the research was composed of 198 patients, from whom 102 were in ICU (ICU group) and 96 were not (non-ICU group). The results of the statistical processing have shown that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between MD-PTSD and hospitalization in ICU, and particular hospitalization in ICU increases the likelihood of developing MD by 1.94 times and PTSD by 3.48 times, compared to treatment in another part of the hospital. Furthermore, the ICU group was found to suffer more than the control group from MD (32.4% vs 19.8%) and PTSD (35,3% vs 13,5%). The investigation of sociodemographic characteristics showed that being a woman discharged from ICU is nearly five times more likely to develop MD and nearly twelve times more likely to develop PTSD compared with men. Old age in ICU acts as a protective factor from PTSD. Regarding the clinical features, the clinical diagnosis is not associated with the development of MD and PTSD in either group, but there is a positive correlation of severity of illness with MD and PTSD in ICU. The length of stay is an important prognostic factor only in the development of MD in ICU group. In this study 11.6% of the total sample (ICU: 17.6%, non-ICU group: 5.2%) was found to meet the criteria for both MD and PTSD. These results are in agreement with similar studies in the literature. Early recognition and treatment of MD and PTSD in critically ill patients could contribute to faster recovery and improved quality of life.

Key words: Post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, intensive care unit, risk factors.

E. Asimakopoulou, M. Madianos (page 257) - Full article (Greek)