Journal Article Annotations
2016, 2nd Quarter
Annotation by William Pirl, MD, FAPM
The finding: Family meetings led by palliative care providers did not result in lower depression and anxiety (measured as total HADS score) at 90 days in family members of patients who were on a ventilator for at least 7 days.
Strengths and weaknesses: The major strength of this study is that it is randomized controlled trial that was rigorously conducted at three sites. However, the family meetings led by palliative care providers occurred independently of other meetings led by ICU providers and the meetings mainly focused on understanding the patients’ prognoses. The meetings did not focus on how family members were coping or strengthening coping skills.
Relevance: Decreasing later anxiety and depression in family members of patients with extended ICU stays may require more than fostering a better understanding of patients’ prognoses while in the ICU.