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Patient Reported Experience of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

Author(s): Chris Griffiths, Alexander O Neill-Kerr, Rose Thompson


Negative attitudes towards Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) persist, despite the evidence of its clinical efficacy and benefits. This is partially due to negative media portrayals, inaccurate information and prohibitive consent processes. The aim of this study is to review patient ECT experience literature and report patients’ perspective of their ECT experience.


A patient data and insight platform was employed to gain patient satisfaction and patient feedback statements of their experiences of ECT in an UK National Health Service (NHS) provider.


Patients feel well informed, involved in decisions made about them, treated with dignity and respect, and treated well by the staff; and almost all patients would recommend the hospital delivering ECT. Findings show that interactions with staff have a positive effect on patient satisfaction and experience. Patients describe how ECT gave them their lives back again and prevented suicide attempts.


The study highlights the importance to patient’s satisfaction and experience of staff’s engagement, relaying information, friendliness, support, and compassion. The results provide information to both patients and prescribers regarding patient’s experience of ECT. It is important to acknowledge that the patient experience of ECT literature identifies that patients frequently report memory loss.

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