Electroconvulsive therapy: a clinical case study and review

Rushton, Emily, Jones, Emma orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2153-2781 and Roberts, Diane (2021) Electroconvulsive therapy: a clinical case study and review. British Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 10 (4). ISSN 2049-5919

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.12968/bjmh.2020.0043


Electroconvulsive therapy is deemed one of the most effective treatments for alleviating symptoms in individuals diagnosed with severe depression, yet it remains one of the most controversial psychiatric treatments in contemporary mental health nursing practice. As such, its use and efficacy continue to be questioned. The following article analyses the case of Albert, a fictional character who represents the presentation of several patients who have received electroconvulsive therapy. The application of electroconvulsive therapy is evaluated, by referring to the most recent policy and national guidelines. Despite the associated stigma, electroconvulsive therapy can save lives, as portrayed by Albert. However, further research is required and updated guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is needed, specifically with regards to maintenance and relapse prevention. It is important to be aware of the implications of side effects, just as with other interventions. Overall, this article highlights the importance of safe, recovery-focused and person-centred care.

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