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The Patient Dignity Inventory and Dignity-Related Distress among the Critically Ill.

Mergler BD, Goldshore MA, Shea JA, Lane-Fall MB, Hadler RA. The Patient Dignity Inventory and Dignity-Related Distress among the Critically Ill. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2022 Mar 1; 63(3):359-365.

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CONTEXT: Critical illness confers a significant risk of psychological distress, both during and after intensive care unit (ICU) admission. The Patient Dignity Inventory is a 25-item instrument initially designed to measure psychosocial, existential and symptom-related distress in terminally ill patients. OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to validate the inventory as a means of identifying distress in inpatient critical care settings. METHODS: Single-center prospective cohort study of adult patients admitted to one of five ICUs within the University of Pennsylvania Health System for greater than 48 hours from January 2019 to February 2020. Patients completed the inventory in addition to the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-seven questionnaires. RESULTS: The tool''s internal structure was assessed via principal components analysis. 155 participants consented, completed the surveys and were included for analysis. Scores on the inventory showed evidence of internal consistency when used in critical care settings (Cronbach''s a = 0.95). Moreover, principal components analysis elucidated four themes prevalent in critically-ill patients: Illness-related Concerns, Interactions with Others, Peace of Mind and Dependency. Construct validity was assessed through correlational analysis with depression and anxiety questionnaires. Scores on the inventory appear to be valid for assessing dignity-related psychological concerns in the critical care setting although there is overlap among components and with anxiety and depression scores. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the inventory can be used to assess patient distress in critical care settings. Further research may elucidate the role of dignity-based interventions in treating and preventing post-intensive care psychological symptoms.

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