By Helle Sorensen, Membership Services Officer

‘POPPI’ aims to improve psychological assessment of critically ill. Studies indicate high rates of serious psychological morbidity amongst patients after their stay in a critical care unit. Early psychological assessment of risk and subsequent support are key to reduce longer-term morbidity.

‘POPPI’ (Provision of Psychological Support to People in Intensive Care) is a study being run by ICNARC that sets out to inform the NHS on improving the delivery of psychological assessment and support.


It’s a different way of thinking for professionals, but we have received very positive feedback from them

Paul Mouncey, Senior Trial Manager of POPPI

The intervention being evaluated is a nurse-led preventative psychological intervention comprising of four elements:

1 – An educational package (two training courses and associated materials).

2 – Creating a therapeutic environment to promote calm and minimise stress in the unit.

3 – Assessing acute psychological stress and unusual experiences in critical care patients using the Intensive Care Psychological Assessment Tool.

4 – Carry out three support sessions for patients assessed as being at high-risk of psychological morbidity.

More POPPI? Visit http://www.icnarc.org

Another study found that 50 per cent of patients in the study discharged from intensive care went on to suffer adverse psychological problems. Critical Care (2012) 16: R192.

Post-traumatic stress is associated with length of stay and use of sedation according to study on PTSD in ICU. Journal of the Intensive Care Society (2010) 11:2.

One thought on “Psychology and critical care

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