Knowledge and Attitude of Patients with Psychiatric Disorders and their Relatives Toward Electroconvulsive Therapy

Dan, Amitava; Grover, Sandeep; Chakrabarti, Subho
July 2014
Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine;Jul-Sep2014, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p264
Academic Journal
Objective: Knowledge and attitude regarding electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the important parameters for acceptance of ECT as a safe and effective treatment option. Several factors shape the knowledge and attitude of general people such as previous experience of ECT, sources of their information about ECT and prevailing myths about ECT. The present study attempted to examine the knowledge and attitude concerning ECT among patients with psychiatric disorders and their relatives. Materials and Methods: Knowledge and attitudes regarding ECT were assessed using the Bengali version of the ECT knowledge and attitude questionnaires, between 100 clinically stable patients with mental illnesses and their healthy relatives. Results: Majority of the patients and relatives were unaware of the basic facts about ECT. Relatives were somewhat better informed and more positive about ECT than patients, but the differences between the two groups were not significant. Previous experience of ECT did not have any major impact in knowledge and attitude in both patients and relative groups. Patients obtained information, mostly from media (44%), doctors (23%), and from personal experiences (13%). On the other hand, relatives obtained information almost equally from media (26%), doctors (27%), and experience of friends or relatives (28%). No significant difference was observed in knowledge and attitude in patients who had obtained their facts from doctors (n=23) and from other sources (n=77). Among relatives, those who had obtained their information from doctors (n=27) were better informed than those who had obtained so from other sources (n=73). Conclusions: Since patients and relatives have poor knowledge and negative attitude toward ECT, medical professionals should impart proper information about ECT to patients and relatives to increase the acceptability of this treatment.


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