Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Quality Of Life For At Least Six Months

Date:
February 16, 2006
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) -- shock treatment -- improves quality of life in patients with major depression, and that improved quality of life continues for six months, according to a report in the February Journal of Affective Disorders.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) -- shock treatment -- improves quality of life in patients with major depression, and that improved quality of life continues for six months, according to a report in the February Journal of Affective Disorders.

The study was conducted in seven hospitals in New York City -- two private psychiatric hospitals, three community hospitals and two academic medical centers, said W. Vaughn McCall, M.D., M.S., the lead author and professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"This study adds to the accumulating evidence that ECT is associated with a net health benefit in depressed patients who attain and sustain remission," wrote McCall and colleagues. ECT has long been known to be an effective treatment for major depression.

The results from 283 severely depressed patients at the seven New York City hospitals confirm results from an earlier study McCall did of 77 ECT patients at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a study that was published in the November 2004 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

In that study, he said, "Quality of life and function are improved in ECT patients as early as two weeks after the conclusion of ECT." In the new study, the psychiatrists said, "ECT is associated with improved health-related quality of life in the short term and the long term." Most of the improvements were largely explained by the control of depressive symptoms, McCall said.

ECT is a treatment for severe mental illness, especially major depression, in which a brief application of electric stimulus -- a shock -- is used to produce a generalized seizure. Doctors administer ECT after the patient has been given both an anesthetic and a muscle relaxant.

Before the ECT treatment, the authors said, health-related quality of life was very low.

The team measured quality of life with a tool called Medical Outcomes Study Short Form before ECT, several days after ECT, and again 24 weeks later. Before the ECT treatment, the authors said, health-related quality of life was very low: for example a measure called "vitality" was 20.4, "social functioning" was 22.8, and "emotional" was 6.4. Six months later, vitality was 40.1, social functioning was 55.2 and emotional was 42.8.

"All these scales have a range of scores from 0 to 100 with 100 being fully functional and zero indicating a complete deficit," McCall said.

Overall, at 24 weeks, 78 percent of the patients had improved quality of life. While the study did not extend beyond six months, McCall said that in earlier studies he reported improvements in quality of life persist for a year in most patients after ECT.

McCall said the evidence from the current study and his earlier ones at Wake Forest counters the argument of those who would like to severely restrict ECT.

"Some agencies have recommended that ECT be restricted in use because of perceived gaps in knowledge regarding it effects of health-related quality of life," McCall said. He noted that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom recommended limits on ECT, pending more information, especially on the impact of ECT on quality of life.

"Our results indicate that a restrictive public policy toward ECT is not warranted on the basis of the effect of ECT on quality of life," McCall said.

He said there were side effects to ECT. Most patients experience temporary learning difficulties for up to two weeks after ECT. Permanent memory loss of the events in the few months preceding ECT is also common, he said.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Quality Of Life For At Least Six Months." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215231214.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2006, February 16). Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Quality Of Life For At Least Six Months. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215231214.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Quality Of Life For At Least Six Months." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060215231214.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins