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Table 1 Grid of analysis of the content of the intensive care unit (ICU) diary

From: The ICU-Diary study: prospective, multicenter comparative study of the impact of an ICU diary on the wellbeing of patients and families in French ICUs

Category 1: Defining places, spaces, and people
 Theme 1 Narrative about the ICU and its location in the hospital and city
 Theme 2 Narrative about the identity and job responsibilities of each ICU staff member
 Theme 3 Narrative about the characteristics of the room
 Theme 4 Narrative describing the pictures posted in the room
 Theme 5 Narrative about the characteristics and purpose of the machines
 Theme 6 Narrative about the sights and sounds in the room
 Theme 7 Narrative about the presence of, or visits by, members of the clergy
Category 2: Building a time flow of medical events
 Theme 1 Narrative about the patient’s history before ICU admission and after the first urgent interventions
 Theme 2 Narrative about the condition of the patient, clinical course, treatments, procedures, investigations, and surgeries
 Theme 3 Description of events that interfered or might have interfered with the presence of ICU staff members at the bedside
 Theme 4 Comments on life expectancy and the expected impact of the disorders on quality of life
 Theme 5 Narrative describing exchanges among healthcare professionals involved with the patient: date of onset and content
 Theme 6 Narrative about the differences in tasks carried out by the day staff and night staff, to explain how the 24-h cycle unfolds
Category 3: To replace the time flow of the patient’s experience within the time flow of family, community, and world events
 Theme 1 Narrative about events in the patient’s personal life (narrator, family, friends …)
 Theme 2 Narrative about the difference in the perceived time flow of events between the patient since ICU admission and the narrator or family/friends
 Theme 3 Narrative about future projects for the patient
 Theme 4 Narrative about concomitant social, political, economic, and cultural events
 Theme 5 Narrative about the visits, their sequence in time, their duration, and factors that prevented some visits from occurring
Category 4: To demonstrate the continuity of the patient’s life
 Theme 1 Narrative about the patient’s recent or remote past, habits, reactions, and personality features
 Theme 2 Narrative about the patient’s behaviors, attitudes, and actions
 Theme 3 Narrative about physical changes and attitudes (e.g., ability to open/close the eyes)
 Theme 4 Narrative about changes in expressions of pain and responses to nursing care
 Theme 5 Narrative about the patient’s emotional responses to the voices of the staff and family/friends (smiling, small movements of the eyelids or body)
 Theme 6 Narrative about the patient’s emotional responses to physical contact (stroking, holding hands, touching …)
Category 5: To express feelings and emotions
 Theme 1 Narrative that explicitly describes feelings or emotions about the patient
 Theme 2 Narrative that explicitly describes feelings or emotions about or toward the ICU staff
 Theme 3 Narrative that explicitly describes feelings or emotions of family members or other loved ones
 Theme 4 Narrative describing expectations, fears, discouragement, and hopes of the family and other loved ones
 Theme 5 Narrative describing the fears and hopes of the staff
Category 6: To explicitly demonstrate the presence, commitment, and support of staff and family
 Theme 1 To write an account of one’s presence at the patient’s bedside
 Theme 2 To make one’s presence felt in a personal and original way (poems, songs, music, drawings …)
 Theme 3 To describe relationships between the patient and other persons while encouraging the other persons to speak to, and to touch, the patient, despite the unfavorable environment
 Theme 4 To describe one’s physical involvement in communicating with the patient
 Theme 5 To describe or refer to one’s support in the form of prayers or any other religious or spiritual activity