Barriers and opportunities for implementation of a brief psychological intervention for post-ICU mental distress in the primary care setting - results from a qualitative sub-study of the PICTURE trial


BACKGROUND: The results of critical illness and life-saving invasive measures during intensive care unit treatment can sometimes lead to lasting physical and psychological impairments. A multicentre randomized controlled trial from Germany (PICTURE) aims to test a brief psychological intervention, based on narrative exposure therapy, for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following intensive care unit treatment in the primary care setting. A qualitative analysis was conducted to understand feasibility and acceptance of the intervention beyond quantitative analysis of the main outcomes in the primary study.

METHODS: Qualitative explorative sub-study of the main PICTURE trial, with eight patients from the intervention group recruited for semi-structured telephone interviews. Transcriptions were analysed according to Mayring's qualitative content analysis. Contents were coded and classified into emerging categories.

RESULTS: The study population was 50% female and male, with a mean age of 60.9 years and transplantation surgery being the most frequent admission diagnosis. Four main factors were identified as conducive towards implementation of a short psychological intervention in a primary care setting: 1) long-term trustful relationship between patient and GP team; 2) intervention applied by a medical doctor; 3) professional emotional distance of the GP team; 4) brevity of the intervention.

CONCLUSION: The primary setting has certain qualities such as a long-term doctor-patient relationship and low-threshold consultations that offer good opportunities for implementation of a brief psychological intervention for post-intensive care unit impairments. Structured follow-up guidelines for primary care following intensive care unit treatment are needed. Brief general practice-based interventions could be part of a stepped-care approach.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The main trial was registered at the DRKS (German Register of Clinical Trials: DRKS00012589) on 17/10/2017.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 06.05.2023

Anmerkungen des Dekanats

© 2023. The Author(s).

PubMed 37149603