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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2010 Dec 16;130(24):2460-4. doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.09.1102.

Electroconvulsive therapy--efficacy and side-effects.

[Article in English, Norwegian]

Author information

  • 1Department of Geriatric Psychiatry, Mental Health and Dependence Clinic, Oslo University Hospital, Slottsberget 35, 1385 Asker, Norway. kjellmartin.moksnes@ulleval.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and duration of associated side effects is uncertain. We wanted to study indications, efficacy, time to response and side effects.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

ECT-protocols and medical records (from the period 1960-95) in three psychiatric wards of Dikemark Mental Hospital, Norway were systematically assessed.

RESULTS:

141 persons underwent 241 ECT series comprising 1960 treatment sessions. Major depressive disorder was the main diagnosis in most patients 124 [88 %]. Before ECT, 129 (91 %) patients had been treated with at least one antidepressant, 107 (76 %) with at least two and 67 (48 %) with two different classes of antidepressants without sufficient clinical recovery from the incident. 31 (22 %) had received lithium before ECT. Within four weeks after the first ECT, 120 (85 %) patients had recovered. 61 of these achieved remission and were discharged within four weeks. After the first ECT series, 92 patients showed signs of improvement. 71 (77 %) had signs of improvement within 6 days. Side effects were noted after 123 of totally 241 series (51 %). Five patients experienced serious complications. Interpretation. The immediate effect of ECT was good and signs of recovery were observed in most patients during the first week. Depressed psychotic patients and the elderly seemed to respond best. Considering these patients' serious and long-lasting disorders ECT was fairly safe and well tolerated.

PMID:
21164584
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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