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ATS: End-of-Life Discussions in ICU Reduce Family Members' Grief

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that while the family conferences showed benefit in France, cultural backgrounds may vary response in other countries.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 -- Better communication with the family of dying ICU patients may reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, French researchers found.

Relatives were about 25% less likely to suffer those outcomes when they took part in a family conference with the patient's physician and nurses and were given a brochure about bereavement, reported Élie Azoulay, M.D., Ph.D., of St-Louis Hospital in Paris, and colleagues.

The mnemonic-based communication guidelines provided to the ICU team members in the study may also have relieved their own stress, Dr. Azoulay said here at the American Thoracic Society meeting.

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