Validation of the 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire: A New Tool for Monitoring Post–Electroconvulsive Therapy Disorientation

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Assessment of post–electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) disorientation at a single time point after ECT treatment may prove an effective and clinically useful method for monitoring the severity of disorientation and predicting ECT-induced retrograde amnesia. In this study, we aimed to validate a novel instrument (10-Item Orientation Questionnaire) developed to assess the level of disorientation after ECT.


Twenty-four depressed inpatients who were prescribed an acute course of ECT were administered the 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire at 30 minutes after ECT and had time to reorientation assessed at 3 time points after ECT (10, 30, and 60 minutes) at ECT treatments 1 to 3. The association between average performance of the 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire across the acute ECT course and retrograde amnesia at post-ECT was examined using the Autobiographical Memory Interview–Short Form.


Mean performance on the 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire across treatments 1 to 3 was moderately correlated with average time to reorientation (r = −0.52, P = 0.02, n = 20). Across the acute ECT course, poorer performance on the 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire was associated with greater retrograde amnesia at post-ECT (r = 0.53, P = 0.03, n = 16).


The 10-Item Orientation Questionnaire when administered at 30 minutes after ECT is sensitive for detecting patients with slow recovery of orientation after ECT. Use of this instrument therefore has potential for improving routine patient monitoring in clinical practice and identifying patients at increased risk of retrograde memory adverse effects following treatment.

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