Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Screening in Parents of Trauma Patients
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Other TitlesPost-traumatic Stress Disorder Screening
AbstractProblem: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can occur after experiencing a stressful event and long-term stress can affect one’s physical health including the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems. Parents of children following a severe traumatic injury are at high risk for PTSD. Approximately 120 pediatric trauma patients are seen annually at a large university hospital system’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). However, there is no screening process or structured information given to families to cope with their personal stress. Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to screen for early signs of PTSD, educate, and provide resources for parents of PICU trauma patients. Methods: Parents of trauma patients were screened for PTSD using the Posttraumatic Adjustment Scale within 48 hours of admission over a 24-week period. The PICU fellow was notified of all positive screens and a social worker consult initiated. A resource folder was given to all families who volunteered to be screened or expressed interest. This folder included information on post-traumatic stress, local family referral programs, and information on how to help the child and parents cope with trauma. A post-discharge survey was sent to all participating families via Qualtrics to assess quality of resources provided. Results: There was a total of 10 patients admitted to the PICU as trauma patients. Of those ten, one family was not able to be screened due to child protective service restrictions and one due to patient death on arrival. Four of eight parents had a positive screen for early warning signs of PTSD and depression. All who screened positive were successfully referred to social work. Four parents responded positively to the survey stating the resources were helpful. Conclusions: This quality improvement project demonstrated that screening parents of trauma patients for PTSD early in the PICU can be of benefit to provide prompt resources for those with positive symptoms. Next steps are to screen all pediatric trauma families admitted to inpatient units.
KeywordStress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Intensive Care Units, Pediatric