Coping strategies, anxiety and depressive symptoms in family members of patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a prospective cohort study

Marisa Onrust, Annemieke Oude Lansink-Hartgring, Ingeborg van der Meulen, Marie Louise Luttik, Willem Dieperink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Family members of patients treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) during an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) stay are at risk of developing symptoms of anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Coping strategies used by family members may play an important role in the severity of some of these symptoms.

OBJECTIVES: The primary aim of this study was to describe coping strategies used by family members of ECMO-treated patients during ICU admission and recovery period. The secondary aim was to explore the course of the symptoms anxiety, depression, PTSD, and Health Related Quality Of Life (HRQOL) over time.

METHODS: In this single-center prospective longitudinal study, validated questionnaires were used to measure coping strategies, symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD, and HRQOL in family members of ECMO-treated patients directly after the start of ECMO and at one and six months after the start of ECMO.

RESULTS: Family members (n = 26) mainly used problem-focused coping strategies. Symptoms of anxiety appeared to be most present during treatment but decreased over time, as did symptoms of depression and PTSD. HRQOL was severely affected, especially in the mental domain, and did not improve over time.

CONCLUSION: In family members of ECMO-treated patients, problem-focused coping mechanisms were most prominent. Psychological functioning was impaired on admission but improved over time, although a mild reaction to stress remained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalHeart & lung : the journal of critical care
Volume52
Early online date19 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • family members
  • coping strategies
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • post-intensive care syndrome-family

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