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Indian J Psychiatry. 2011 Apr;53(2):149-51. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.82544.

Why do we prescribe ECT to schizophrenia patients?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is prescribed for schizophrenia patients for various indications, in our country. However, official guidelines in other countries have been cautious in prescribing ECT for schizophrenia. To study the indications for which patients with schizophrenia receive ECT. We studied records of schizophrenia inpatients receiving ECT in one year (2005) (n=101) retrospectively, as well as the consecutive data of patients between May 2007 and June 2008 (n=101) prospectively. The various indications for ECT in schizophrenia were studied by frequency analysis. Of the 202 schizophrenia patients who received ECT, the most common reason was 'to augment pharmacotherapy' in (n=116) cases. The target symptoms for which ECT was prescribed the most was catatonia (n=72). The mean number of ECTs (SD) received was 8.4 (2.8). Augmentation of pharmacotherapy was the most common indication of ECT in patients with schizophrenia.


ECT; indications; schizophrenia

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