Granja et al identified stressful experiences for a patient being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU). In addition to affecting the patient while in the ICU, these can contribute to a post-traumatic stress disorder or poor post-discharge quality of life. The authors are from the University of Oporto and several hospitals in Portugal.


Stressful experiences that are difficult to endure:

(1) tracheal tube intubation

(2) family worries

(3) uncontrolled pain

(4) nasal tube

(5) immobilization

(6) uncertainty about future and fear of death

(7) repetitive venipuncture

(8) difficulty communicating

(9) ventilator/machine dependence

(10) urinary catheter

(11) lack of sleep or poor sleep quality

(12) ICU environment (noise, lights, vibrations, etc.)

(13) general discomfort


A patient who has experienced multiple stressors should be evaluated after recovery for persistent problems.


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