The ICU-diary concept is associated with less post-traumatic stress syndrome and improved perceived health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) after critical illness, but little is known about its effect on the coping- mastery process, or whether it reduces hopelessness.
Objective: To see if the ICU-diary concept improves the patient’s ability to master his/her situation after critical illness, and if it reduces the feeling of hopelessness.
Design: Case control study (subgroup analysis of a multi-centre study on health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL).
Setting: Non-academic 8-bed general ICU.
Patients: Adults admitted between March 2002 and June 2004.
Measurements: Mastery and hopelessness were determined using validated questionnaires (the Mastery-Coping scale and a consolidated 2–item hopelessness questionnaire) which were sent home to patients 6 months after critical illness. Responses were compared between patients that received (Cases: n=38) or did not receive an ICU-diary (Controls: n=76) . Diaries were used when a long and complicated stay on the ICU was expected. Controls were matched with diary patients by gender and age. The effect of the ICU-diary was also examined using a multiple regression model.
Results: The ICU-diary concept group scored significantly higher than the No-diary group in mastery (22.1 vs. 20.4, P<0.05) and lower in hopelessness scores (1.3 vs. 1.6, P<0.05). The positive influence of the ICU-diary disappeared after adjustment for confounding factors in a multiple regression model.
Conclusion: We were unable to verify any positive influence of the ICU-diary concept on mastery and hopelessness 6 months after critical illness.