Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Video, Written Patient Education Improves Understanding of Electroconvulsive Therapy

Brief education using videos or brochures improves patients’ understanding and willingness to consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), suggests a study in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

“ECT remains a maligned, underutilized treatment, and psychoeducation may be important in improving access to those who may benefit from it,” wrote Jack Tsai, Ph.D., of Yale School of Medicine and colleagues.

The researchers randomly assigned 556 adults who screened positive for depression on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to one of two education groups. One group watched an eight-minute video about ECT and the other group read a four-page online brochure that presented the same information as the video. The video featured members of the public, subject matter experts, and patient testimonials. The brochure consisted of a transcript of the video and did not include any images. Using the ECT-PK scale, the researchers measured the participants’ knowledge and perception of ECT both before and after the participants received their education. The researchers also asked participants about their willingness to receive ECT, both before and after their education.

The proportion of participants who would be willing to receive ECT increased from 31% to 63% in the video group and from 29% to 56% in the brochure group. The brochure group had a significantly greater reduction in concerns about ECT-related memory loss than the video group. However, the video group had a significantly greater reduction in fear of ECT than the brochure group.

“Thus, whereas both formats were effective, video psychoeducation may have some advantages in allaying fears about ECT and demonstrating the modernity of ECT through presentation of images, patient testimonials, and credible commentary from subject matter experts,” Tsai and colleagues wrote, adding that further research is needed.

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “When Is ECT Right for Your Patients With Depression?

(Image: iStock/Hailshadow)

Mental Health Resources for Dealing With COVID-19

APA has posted information and links to numerous resources to help psychiatrists and the public deal with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information will continue to be added as more details are known.

APA Offers Resources to Cope with COVID-19

Coronavirus and Mental Health: Taking Care of Ourselves During Infectious Disease Outbreaks

COVID-19 Mental Health Impacts: Resources for Psychiatrists


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