Study Addresses Misconceptions about Electroconvulsive Therapy

05/06/2017 Wiley

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has long had a stigma of being a painful and barbaric method of treatment, but a new study found that patients undergoing ECT for a variety of psychiatric disorders view the therapy in a positive light.

In the study of 30 patients, 80% found ECT a useful procedure that they would readily have again, with 70% saying it was more efficacious than drug therapy. The study’s investigators note that improvements in ECT administration and standards should help to validate ECT as a less frightening experience for patients and their caregivers.

“ECT is a very effective but underused treatment partly due to the perception of the nature of this treatment. This study illustrates that the overall experience and attitude of patients and carers on ECT treatment were positive,” said Dr. Latha Guruvaiah, lead author of the Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry study. “Many treatment options are available now for Psychiatric disorders but still ECT is considered as an effective treatment and has been found to be potential lifesaver in many cases.”

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Patients' experiences of and attitudes towards ECT. Latha Guruvaiah MBBS MRCPsych, Karthikeyan Veerasamy MBBS, MD (Psychiatry), Muhammad Naveed MBBS MRCPsych, Swami Kudlur MRCPsych, Farah Chaudary MBChB MRCPsych and Ann Paraiso MBChB. Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1002/pnp.466.

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