Psychological support

Psychological disturbance occurs during weaning trials and feelings of hopelessness affect performance.59 Clinically, there appears to be a gap between the physiological testing performed at the bedside and the actual performance of the patient, some of which may be attributable to other factors including personality, fear, agitation, depression, and empowerment.60 Weaning is associated with depression and treatment may be helpful.61 An important element of the care of patients during weaning is to devise methods of psychological support.62 One example is to ask the patient to imagine a particularly strong memory and through rehearsal this fantasy is strengthened. The memory is then used during weaning to allay anxiety and increase tolerance of reductions in ventilatory support.

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