A Public Health Issue: Caregivers Are at Risk for PTSD

January 7, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Caregivers are at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a December 12, 2018, article in the Washington Post. The author describes caring for her terminally ill father, during the course of whose illness she failed to notice she was suffering symptoms of PTSD. Studies on caregivers who have family members in the intensive care unit (ICU) have shown high rates of PTSD, the author reports; the ICU itself can be "triggering" for caregivers and cause distressing flashbacks. Furthermore, she says, studies show that the patient's discharge from the ICU does not alleviate the caregiver's emotional trauma.

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