Nobel Medicus, vol.17, no.2, pp.99-104, 2021 (ESCI)
Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been
used frequently in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
By the year 2005, unmodified (without anesthesia) ECT
started to be replaced by modified (under anesthesia) ECT.
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the attitudes towards
modified versus unmodified applications of ECT among
the mental health professionals who experienced this
Material and Method: Three subgroups of mental
health professionals including psychiatric nurses,
psychiatric trainees and psychiatrists who had at least
30 experiences of each ECT method, were asked to fulfill
the semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire
contained items related to participants’ attitudes towards
each ECT method in terms of their efficacy, side effects,
safety, satisfaction during application and their opinions
about this transition to modified method.
Results: In total, 54 (27.0%) psychiatrists, 82 (41.0%)
trainees and 64(32.0%) psychiatric nurses were
participated. In terms of efficiency, 53.7% of psychiatrists
and 47.6% of trainees stated that the two ECT methods
were equal. However according to 56.3% of psychiatric
nurses unmodified ECT method was more effective than
the modified one (χ2:10.615, p=0.031). Mental health
professionals showed a common attitude towards the
safety and satisfaction (for safety χ2:0.296, p=1.000
and for satisfaction χ2:1.987 p=0.778). For both
safety and satisfaction all health professionals replied
in favor to modified ECT applications. In all subgroups
of professionals, according to majority of participants
modified ECT method had less side effects (χ2:14.364,
p=0.006) and reported positive opinion about the transition
to the modified ECT applications (χ2:10.058, p=0.014).
Conclusion: Mental health professionals had a positive
attitude to the transition from unmodified to modified ECT
and they found the modified ECT safer than unmodified
one. Psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses were different in
terms of their attitudes for the efficacy of ECT methods.
Keywords: Electroconvulsive therapy, mental health
professionals, unmodified attitude, modified attitude.