Families Of COVID-19 ICU Patients At High Risk Of PTSD, Study Shows

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The psychological symptoms of having a family member admitted to the intensive care unit due to COVID-19 can be massive, according to a study published Monday. 

The study, published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that having a family member with COVID-19 in the ICU was associated with a high prevalence of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“The psychological symptoms associated with having a family member admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) during the COVID-19 pandemic are not well defined,” the study’s authors noted. “In this cohort study, symptoms of PTSD among family members of ICU patients with COVID-19 were high.”

Researchers surveyed 330 participants who had close relationships with COVID-19 patients. Nearly 64% of participants reported having symptoms of PTSD.

“All that said, even if the rates are only half of what this study found, they are still alarmingly high and point to the need for emotional support,” UC San Diego professor of psychiatry Dr. Murray Stein told CNN

The authors clarified that the study included an “ethnically and racially diverse participant population” and used a “rigorous, mixed-methods approach to contextualize the quantitative findings.”

A recent study published in PLOS Medicine found that those with severe mental illnesses have a higher chance of dying due to cardiac complications. 

“In this study, we found that SMI (severe mental illness) was associated with an approximate doubling in the rate ratio of CVD (cardiovascular disease) related mortality,” researchers said.

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