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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 92-99

Knowledge about and attitude toward electroconvulsive therapy among those who agree and those who refuse electroconvulsive therapy treatment

Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_218_20

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Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is although one of the most effective treatments in psychiatry, and many a times patients refuse the same. Although, there is information about the knowledge about and attitude towards ECT among people who receive the same, little is known about these among those who refuse ECT. Aim: This study attempted to assess and compare the knowledge about and attitude toward ECT in patients with severe mental illness who accepted and refused ECT. Methodology: 68 patients divided into 3 groups (readily accepted; accepted, with initial reluctance; refused) based on the readiness for ECT were evaluated using ECT knowledge and attitude questionnaire. The higher proportion of those who refused had poor knowledge about the frequency of ECT sessions, investigations required before ECT and believed that ECT can be given against patient and family members' consent. Higher proportion of those who initially refused but later agreed believed that ECT can be given without the patient or family members'consent and it is given only to those patients who are unlikely to improve when compared to those who agreed ECT. Compared to those who agreed spontaneously, higher proportion of the participants in other two groups believed that ECT is not useful in the treatment of psychiatric disorders and they lacked knowledge about headache being a side effect of ECT. In terms of attitude toward ECT, higher proportion of those who refused ECT (n = 24; 89%) had a negative attitude in terms of not recommending the same for their relatives and were reluctant to receive ECT themselves. Conclusions: The results highlight that negative perception toward ECT in patients who refuse to receive ECT. Thus, it is essential to convey adequate information about ECT to enhance their understanding and acceptance.

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