Reducing posttraumatic stress after severe sepsis in patients and their spouses
PD Dr. Jenny Rosendahl
Institute of Psychosocial Medicine and Psychotherapy, Jena University Hospital
Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universität Berlin
Mental disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common consequences of intensive care of severe sepsis and do not only affect patients but also spouses.
Primary aim of the project is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an internet-based therapy of post-traumatic stress disorder in patients who survived a severe sepsis and their spouses.
Study participants will be randomly assigned either to a therapy group or a waiting-list. Patients of the therapy group attend a therapist-assisted, internet-based writing therapy to treat PTSD consisting of two weekly writing tasks over a six-week period (11 essays in total). The waiting-list serves as a control group against spontaneous remission and receives treatment after the waiting period of 6 weeks.
Adult patients after severe sepsis with an ICU stay of 5 days+ or spouses of patients will be included if they are diagnosed with PTSD that is associated with ICU stay for treatment of sepsis. Exclusion criteria are living alone, acute psychosis, suicidal intentions, severely depressed mood, use of neuroleptics, and concurrent psychotherapeutic treatment.
Primary efficacy endpoint is symptom severity of posttraumatic stress at the end of treatment. Further outcomes are remission of PTSD, depression, anxiety, somatization, marital satisfaction, health related quality of life, and therapy dropout. Follow-up assessment to evaluate long-term efficacy will be 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment.
Altogether, 98 patients and their spouses will be included. The study is scheduled for 36 months, with a recruiting period of 24 months.
Further information (in German) for people interessed or affected is available at www.zweileben.net