Spouses Of Severe-Sepsis Patients Have High Risk Of DepressionEditor's Choice
Main Category: Depression
Also Included In: Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses
Article Date: 20 Jul 2012 - 10:00 PST
Spouses Of Severe-Sepsis Patients Have High Risk Of Depression
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According to a new study published in Critical Care Medicine, women whose husbands have severe sepsis patients are more likely to suffer from depression.
The study was conducted by researchers at University of Michigan Health System and University of Washington School of Medicine.
Sepsis is an illness in which the body has a severe response to bacteria or other germs. This severe inflammatory response can cause damage to vital body organs, bleeding, organ failure, and even death.
Severe sepsis is one of the leading causes of death among older people in the U.S., and is responsible for four times more hospitalizations than illnesses, such as heart attacks.
Theodore J. Iwashyna, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at U-M and who also works with the Institute of Social Research and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, said:
"We know that patients who survive sepsis face many new problems, but we know little about the emotional toll it takes on patients' loved ones. Emotional distress may diminish spouses' abilities to support patients in ongoing rehabilitation and act as surrogate decision-makers for them."
According to Iwashyna, the increasing number of hospitalizations and disabilities caused by severe sepsis impose overwhelming burdens on spouses, especially those who are older.
The researchers believe that spouses may benefit for greater support and depression screening not just when their partner passes away, but also when their loved one survives.
In oder to help facilitate patients' recovery post ICU-care, physician should also consider including non-spousal family members and support networks.
Dimitry S. Davydow, M.D, M.P.H., assistant professor of psychiatry at U-W, said:
"Depression in family members could affect end-of-life decisions in the ICU and impact a loved ones' caretaking ability so interventions may improve the outcomes of patients themselves. Providers must learn to assess the burden of follow-up care on patients' spouses to help improve the health and quality of life for this growing population of older Americans."
The researchers found that women were more likely to suffer from depression if their husbands were hospitalized for severe sepsis. However, data was less definitive for husbands in the same situation. According to the researchers, they may be because older men are less willing to report depressive symptoms.
Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
20 Jun. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248098.php>
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