A study of cofactors implicated in response to electroconvulsive therapy in patients with psychotic disorders


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Abstract

BackgroundElectroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for psychotic disorders with relatively few side effects and rapid onset of action. Factors that may predict patients’ responses to ECT need to be explored.ObjectiveThe aim of the study was to investigate the responses of an inpatient group of psychotic (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder) patients to ECT administration and the factors favoring better response.Participants and methodsEighty patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder indicated to receive ECT were selected from among the inpatients of El-Minia Psychiatry Hospital. Psychiatric examination by completion of a psychiatric sheet, full medical examination, and necessary investigations for anesthesia fitness were conducted for all patients. The Brief Psychiatry Rating Scale was used to assess patients’ symptoms before initiation of ECT, after undergoing three sessions, and after termination of the ECT course (6–8 sessions).ResultsResponse to ECT was similar among different age groups in both male and female patients. Patients’ responses to treatment differed according to their specific diagnosis and according to the duration of the current episode or exacerbation of psychotic illness before ECT administration.ConclusionAge and gender of patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder do not play a role in determining their response to treatment with ECT. Patients’ specific diagnoses and the duration of the current episode or exacerbation of psychotic illness before ECT administration are important factors in determining the response of psychotic patients to ECT.

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