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Article   |    
Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy at a University Hospital: 1970 and 1980-81
Manuel E. Tancer; Robert N. Golden; R. David Ekstrom; Dwight L. Evans
Psychiatric Services 1989; doi:
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This work was supported by NIMH clinical research grant MH33127-09 awarded to Dr. Golden and Dr. Evans.

Biological Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville Maryland

Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in ChapelHill

University of North Carolina School of Medicine

1989 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at a university teaching hospital in 1970 and in 1980-81 was reviewed. The percentage of psychiatric patients who received ECT declined modestly over the period, from 4.4 percent to 2.9 percent, despite compelling evidence of its safety and efficacy. Its use as a first-line treatment appeared to drop markedly in 1980-81, however, as indicated by a significantly longer mean period of hospitalization before administration of ECT. Overall length of hospitalization was significantly longer for patients who received ECT in 1980-81. These patients were also more likely to have had previous psychiatric admissions, suggesting they may have been more seriously ill. The findings are compared with use of ECT in other settings.

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