Post-traumatic stress after PICU and corticosteroid use

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Aim

To examine the association between corticosteroid use in paediatric intensive care units (PICU) and subsequent symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Methods

The subjects were children aged 8-16 years admitted to PICU with sepsis, meningoencephalitis (ME) and other disorders. Illness information was extracted from case notes; 3-6 months post discharge children completed a PTSD symptom questionnaire (eight-item Impact of Events Scale (IES-8)) assessing intrusion and avoidance symptoms. Saliva samples were also collected for cortisol profile analysis.

Results

53 children completed the IES-8 questionnaires. 33 provided saliva samples. 19 (36%) received corticosteroids. In children with sepsis (n=15), corticosteroid use was associated with significantly lower PTSD intrusion symptom scores. There was a trend towards an association between corticosteroid use and lower evening cortisol levels. There was a comparable but weaker trend in children with ME.

Discussion

Corticosteroid use may be associated with fewer PTSD symptoms and lower evening cortisol levels following PICU admission in children with sepsis.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles