Attitudes Toward Electroconvulsive Therapy among Involuntary and Voluntary Patients
© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Objective We aimed to examine attitudes toward electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) among involuntary patients, voluntary patients, and their relatives. Methods Patients experiencing a major depressive episode and receiving ECT and their relatives were recruited for the survey. Patients and their relatives answered the self-rating questionnaires with a 7-point Likert scale. We explored differences in the survey results between involuntary and voluntary patients, as well as differences in the survey results between patients and their relatives. Results We recruited 97 participants (53 patients and 44 relatives) for the survey. Approximately 80% of the patients showed positive attitudes toward ECT. There were no statistically significant differences between involuntary (n = 23) and voluntary (n = 30) patients across multiple aspects of the ECT experience, including treatment satisfaction, positive or adverse effects of ECT, and treatment preference in the future. Relatives were more satisfied with the positive effects of ECT and with the information offered before ECT treatment than the patients themselves. Conclusions Approximately 80% of the patients showed overall satisfaction with ECT irrespective of consent status. Relatives were more satisfied with ECT than patients. Electroconvulsive therapy can be a lifesaving treatment for severely depressed patients, and the subjective experience of involuntary patients should be taken into consideration when discussing involuntary ECT treatment.
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School of Medicine