Psychologic Dysfunction in the Intensive Care Unit Patient

  • Yaroslav Lando
  • Gerard J. Criner


An ICU patient can develop various psychiatric disorders that can manifest either during the ICU stay or after discharge. Several factors play a role in the development of these disorders (Table 32–1). The first is the effect of the severe medical illness or its treatment on cognitive function. The second is the patient’s psychologic response to their severe illness (e.g., feeling that any worthwhile life is over). A patient’s worry and preoccupation about their symptoms frequently results in failure to eat or to participate in rehabilitative efforts (i.e., weaning from mechanical ventilation) and may further worsen their clinical condition. Finally, the patient’s interaction with the surrounding ICU environment can result in behavior, thought, or mood disturbances. The necessary constraints imposed by an ICU environment care for critically ill patients (lights continually on, medical personnel talking, multiple beeping alarms, around-the-clock interventions) can cause sleep and sensory deprivation.


Intensive Care Unit Intensive Care Unit Admission Intensive Care Unit Patient Sleep Deprivation Intensive Care Unit Stay 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaroslav Lando
  • Gerard J. Criner

There are no affiliations available

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