Factors Related to the Changes in Quality of Life for Patients With Depression After an Acute Course of Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on quality of life (QOL), depressive symptoms, and functioning for patients with depression, and to explore the variables related to QOL changes.

Methods

Ninety-five inpatients with depression receiving at least 6 ECT sessions and completed all measures were included. Quality of life, symptom severity, and functioning were assessed using Short Form 36 (SF-36), the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD-17), and the Modified Work and Social Adjustment Scale (MWSAS), before and after ECT. The SF-36 includes 8 subscales, physical component summary (PCS), and mental component summary (MCS). Adverse effects after ECT, including headache, muscle pain, and nausea/vomiting, were also recorded.

Results

All 8 SF-36 subscales, PCS, MCS, HAMD-17, and MWSAS improved significantly after treatment. Using multiple linear regression analysis, MWSAS changes predicted PCS changes significantly after adjusting for baseline PCS. Similarly, using multiple linear regression analysis, MWSAS changes were significant variables associated with MCS changes after adjusting for ECT frequency, HAMD-17 changes, and baseline MCS. The ECT improved QOL, depressive symptoms, and functioning.

Conclusions

Whether strategies to enhance functioning during an acute course of ECT could improve QOL is needed to be examined in a further study.

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