Original Research

Electroconvulsive therapy and its use in modern-day psychiatry

S Prinsloo, P J Pretorius
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 10, No 2 | a142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v10i2.142 | © 2004 S Prinsloo, P J Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2008 | Published: 01 July 2004

About the author(s)

S Prinsloo, Department of Psychiatry, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
P J Pretorius, Department of Psychiatry, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein

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Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been regarded as a some- what controversial treatment modality. Despite initial stigmati- sation, ECT has remained with us for the past 60 years and is now emerging as a safe and effective treatment option.

ECT is indicated in a wide range of disorders and is often found to be of equal or even superior efficacy compared with currently available pharmacological agents. However, it is not without adverse effects and therefore a sound knowledge of this treatment modality is crucial before its administration. The clinician should have a thorough knowledge of indications, method of administration, patient preparation, required seizure duration, treatment course and side-effect profile.


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