The Mental Health Effects on Family of Covid-19 ICU Patients are Just Emerging – Not Good

Family members of Covid-19 ICU patients may emerge with a different condition, study says – CNN

A new study found that depression, anxiety, and PTSD are common symptoms for the family members of those hospitalized in the ICU with Covid-19.  The high American mortality rate among Covid ICU patients may be adding more stress than elsewhere.  The loss of control and difficult decisions that have to be made quickly for a loved one is a leading contributing factor.

The study was published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine and conducted by Dr. Timothy Amass.  They reached out to 316 families with Covid ICU patients amongst them in twelve hospitals throughout the Nation.  Of those 316 Families, 63% responded they had significant symptoms of PTSD.  Amass has a theory that excluding families from the patient’s bedside and pulling control over their decision-making contributed to the emotional symptoms.  He suggested the medical community should do more to include the family and bring them back into the equation.

Families with the ability to communicate over video conference with their loved ones reported lower levels of the same symptoms. They had a higher sense of involvement even when their loved ones succumbed to Covid.  Amass added small acts of kindness and compassion from Hospital staff can go a long way towards mitigating mental health effects on the family members.

Read more on this story at the following additional news sources:

  1. Family members of Covid-19 ICU patients may emerge with a different condition, study says  CNN
  2. Anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms are common for family of Covid-19 ICU patients, study says
  3. Majority of family members of Covid patients treated in the ICU report PTSD symptoms  STAT
  4. Families banned from Covid wards during lockdown ‘left with PTSD’  The Telegraph
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