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J ECT. 2004 Mar;20(1):13-20.

Efficacy of ECT in depression: a meta-analytic review.

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Department of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Biotechnology. University of Pisa, Italy.


This study analyzed the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in depression by means a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials that compared ECT with simulated ECT or placebo or antidepressant drugs and by a complementary meta-analytic review of nonrandomized controlled trials that compared ECT with antidepressants drugs. The review revealed a significant superiority of ECT in all comparisons: ECT versus simulated ECT, ECT versus placebo, ECT versus antidepressants in general, ECT versus TCAs and ECT versus MAOIs. The nonrandomized controlled trials also revealed a significant statistical difference in favor of ECT when confronted with antidepressants drugs. Data analyzed suggest that ECT is a valid therapeutic tool for treatment of depression, including severe and resistant forms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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