n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Depression, anxiety and stress following discharge from intensive care units : the case of Botswana

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Patients discharged from the intensive care unit are challenged by many factors that may cause psychological disturbances. Evidence from previous studies has confirmed that the intensive care unit environment is traumatic. Intensive care unit patients may have perceptions related to this stressful unit that may result in psychological problems after discharge. This study reports on the prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress experienced by patients who were discharged from the intensive care units and transferred to the general wards and later discharged. The study was a prospective, descriptive, and used correlational quantitative design that investigated 36 patients. A follow-up was made on 28 of these patients at their homes. All the patients had been mechanically ventilated and had been hospitalized in the intensive care units for at least 24 hours. During the follow-up, participants completed self-reporting instrument using the self-administered Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS0-21) developed by Lovibond and Lovibond (1995). The findings of this study indicate high proportion for severe to extremely severe-depression (55.5%), anxiety (83.3%) and stress (44.5%) in the hospital, but these levels decreased when patients were at home, where the following were recorded: depression (55.5%) anxiety (35.7%) and stress (21.4%). There was no association between stress, anxiety and depression with the patients' demographic characteristics including age, sex, level of education and social support. The study concluded that there was a need for the intensive care unit liaison personnel to visit these patients in the general wards to assist them to adjust after being discharged from the Intensive care units.

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