• Transfer to the ward following a period in intensive care may cause stress for patients. • A review of the literature reveals that this phenomenon has been described in a number of different ways, such as transfer stress, transfer anxiety, translocation syndrome and, more recently, relocation stress. • This paper reviews the various concepts before arriving at a more operational definition of the phenomenon. • It attempts to reveal what causes this phenomenon and to what extent it exists. • Patients' responses to transfer are identified and the physical and psychological problems that have been associated with discharge from intensive care are discussed. • Lists of interventions that the literature suggests may reduce or prevent this phenomenon from occurring are reviewed. • Recommendations for practice development and further research are made.
- Critical care
ASJC Scopus subject areas