Home Health A Test Measures Stress of Patients in Intensive Care

A Test Measures Stress of Patients in Intensive Care

Patients in Intensive Care: The instrument has 31 very simple questions about the patient’s experience. For example, it seeks to identify what bothered them during their time in the ICU, if they had a comfortable bed or if they had privacy in the assigned room, but also if at some point they felt anguish because they did not know the day and time or because they were repeatedly punished.

Karen Tatiana Roa, Master of Nursing at the National University of Colombia (UN), who designed the instrument, mentions that being interned in these spaces and exposed to different stressors causes physical sequelae such as tachycardia, increased blood volume and changes in blood pressure among other reactions, and for this reason, in these cases, health professionals must pay more attention to the patients’ concerns so that they may experience treatment in accordance with their situation.

A study published in 2013 in the journal Critical Care concluded that 55% of patients who leave intensive care suffer from a specific psychological effect. One of the most common disorders is depression, with 46%, anxiety 44% and post-traumatic stress 27%.

Measures Stress of Patients in Intensive Care

The instrument developed by the Master is a scale to identify stressors in the ICU from a questionnaire called “ESQ in Spanish”. “A methodological study was proposed in which the instrument was built in accordance with the criteria of rigor and taking into account that the person was expected to remember their experience and reflect it when answering the questions and that it was the closest thing to their reality”, indicates the nurse.

Then the facial validity of all the items in the Suba Health Services Unit was made with 390 potential patients from the ICU. Finally, this instrument was validated by experts.

With the answers offered by the patients, health professionals can positively modify the conditions and the environment so that this type of situation does not make the patient sicker.

The nurse points out that facial validity is important for the application of the instrument, which evaluates the patient’s understanding of the questions suggested.

 Patients in Intensive Care
Intensive care unit. (Photo: UN)

“We also made a content validity that consisted of asking the experts if the items that the instrument had were clear, understandable, accurate, relevant and relevant. The statistical analysis showed that the instrument has optimal psychometric properties. The result is a self-diluting scale with a brief instructive of 31 items that the patient answers in terms of yes or no, “he explains. It is expected that its use will contribute to “health professionals can identify which are the situations that generate stress in patients, and thus prevent them from occurring.”

For the nurse, the instrument she built has all the psychometric tests of facial validity and content that allow to carry out the identification of stressors in the ICU, and this makes it a real contribution to health and quality of life from the patients.

Finally, he considers that there is a research path that will give the opportunity to new students to analyze the particular conditions that can be presented in each unit.

The instrument was designed by Nursing but is available to any health professional who is interested in the welfare of patients in the ICU. (Source: UN / DICYT)


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