A postal questionnaire was sent to Scottish consultant psychiatrists asking about their attitudes towards unilateral and bilateral electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and the difference in effectiveness between the two ECT types that they considered clinically significant.
The response rate was 61%. of those that responded, 62% were prescribers of ECT and most (79%) favoured bilateral ECT over unilateral ECT. the outcome that they were most concerned with was remission rate: 97% believe that an absolute difference of more than 5% in remission rate would make the difference in effectiveness between the two types of ECT clinically important.
Future investigators should focus on comparative remission rates of bilateral and unilateral ECT.
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