TOPIC: Many patients in intensive care units have frightening experiences and memories and subsequent post-intensive care syndrome, with psychiatric morbidity including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Intensive care unit diaries, written by staff members and families, support patients' understanding of what occurred and may alleviate their psychological suffering.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: An increasing number of critical care nurses in the United States and elsewhere are implementing intensive care unit diaries, but implementation remains challenging.
PURPOSE: To address emerging questions and support implementation in the United States, we held the Third International Intensive Care Unit Diary Conference as a 1-day preconference during the Seventh Annual Johns Hopkins Critical Care Rehabilitation Conference on November 1, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. This article summarizes the conference.
CONTENT COVERED: Conference presentations included intensive care unit-related experiences of patients and families, psychosocial aspects of post-intensive care syndrome, the evolution of diaries, implementation strategies for intensive care unit diaries, special topics (eg, legal issues, electronic vs handwritten diaries, pediatric diaries, and time of handover), and psychosocial recovery.