Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for major depression, mania and catatonia yet it is sometimes seen as authoritarian and inhumane, has a bad image and some patient groups oppose it. Researchers from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust surveyed 389 people who had had ECT focusing on the consent process and side effects of the treatment. They found that almost half of the sample reported memory loss after ECT. Overall, the consent process was seen as adequate although there were concerns about the provision of written information, discussion about alternatives to ECT and the consequences of not having it. 72% of the sample said that ECT had improved their condition.
Rayner, Lauren ... [et al] - The patient perspective of the consent process and side effects of electroconvulsive therapy Journal of Mental Health October 2009, 18(5), 379-388