To investigate patients' subjective attitudes to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) a questionnaire was posted to 89 consecutive patients who had received treatment in an ECT department.
Fifty-one responses were obtained (57%). Results indicated a high satisfaction with the department and the treatment itself; 44 respondents would or might have ECT again and 35 reported at least a modest improvement with ECT. However, a high rate (60%) of subjective cognitive impairment was reported.
Electroconvulsive therapy can be an acceptable treatment option for patients when administered in an accredited clinic. More research is urgently required to investigate the exact nature of ECT-associated cognitive impairment, in terms of functional deficits, severity and practical importance to patients' lives.
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