The aim of the study was to survey the media landscape to determine whether visual depictions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are becoming more or less medically accurate in the new millennium.Method
English-language film and television shows depicting ECT were analyzed for patient demographics, administrator roles, indication, consent, anesthesia, paralytics, bite block, lead placement, electroencephalogram, and outcome.Results
Thirty-nine ECT scenes were viewed, and just 3 included all 5 essential tools of modern ECT: anesthesia, paralytic, electrodes, electroencephalogram, and a bite block.Conclusions
Media depictions of ECT do not reflect current practice. Too often, ECT is portrayed as a torture technique rather than an evidenced-based therapy, and even in a therapeutic setting, it is too often shown with outdated techniques.