Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Symptomatology in Adolescents Faced With the Hospitalization of a Loved One in the ICU*

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Abstract

Objective:

ICU experience is linked to anxiety and depression symptomatology in family members of patients. Minors may be forbidden from visiting. To bring practices in line with evidence, we determined the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptomatology in adolescents visiting a relative in the ICU.

Design:

One-year prospective observational monocenter study.

Setting:

Medical-surgical ICU, University Hospital of Martinique.

Patients:

Forty-one patients intubated for more than 2 days; 53 adolescents (12–17 yr) first- to third-degree relatives in regular contact (minimum once a month) with patient before hospitalization.

Interventions:

Adolescents with unrestricted ICU access completed a satisfaction survey, anxiety history questionnaire, and psychometric evaluation (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) before the patient’s 15th day of hospitalization and extubation.

Measurements and Main Results:

Forty adolescents (75.5%) visited their relative. Possible and probable anxiety and depression symptomatology prevalence was 35.9% and 18.9%, respectively, with no significant difference according to ICU visiting status. Most (80%) reported a lack of information, 40% insufficient consideration, and 27.5% misunderstood the reason for hospitalization. Two (5%) regretted visiting. Probable anxiety and depression symptomatology was associated with first-degree relationship (odds ratio, 9.1 [95% CI, 1.1–78.9]; p = 0.045), past exposure to a traumatic event (odds ratio, 8.7 [1.1–69.0]; p = 0.040) and past sense of threat (odds ratio, 10.4 [1.1–94.5]; p = 0.038).

Conclusions:

Anxiety and depression symptomatology is common in adolescent family members of ICU patients. An open visiting policy for adolescents is recommended, with visit planning, information meetings, and individual support from ICU staff.

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