Analysis

ECT: what is it, what should it be used to treat and is it effective?

An audit of UK electroconvulsive therapy services has highlighted questions around its use

An audit of UK electroconvulsive therapy services has highlighted questions around its use

  • ECT, where an electric current is passed across the patient’s head causing a controlled seizure, is used to treat some severe mental conditions
  • There have been calls for an independent review of the treatment, with some even saying it should be suspended immediately
  • ECT nurses and others say the treatment is much changed from its controversial image of decades ago, and for some patients it has a dramatic positive impact

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains a controversial treatment.

While practices are much changed from the 1950s and 60s, when it was used without anaesthetic and often without

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