Electroconvulsive Therapy Compared to Pharmacotherapy in Treatment in the Adult Population with Severe Depression
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Purpose: The purpose of the literature review was to explore how ECT compares with pharmacotherapy in the severely depressed adult.
Methods: A literature review was conducted through the Jacksonville University Library database, which granted access to articles from PubMed, CINAHL, and ProQuest. Twelve articles were reviewed and ten articles were utilized in the review. Eight of the articles were individual experimental studies, one article was a non-experimental comparative study, and the last article used was a review of literature.
Findings/Implications: The literature review showed that ECT is highly effective in patients that show no signs of improvement with pharmacotherapy. ECT is useful in decreasing thoughts of suicide and suicidal ideations in patients with severe depression. Despite these findings, clinical documentation shows that ECT is prescribed only to a small group of patients. It is appropriate to prescribe ECT for patients that have suicidal thoughts and ideations as a first line in treatment rather than a last option. ECT would also be beneficial for patients that experience severe side effects with their medications or patients that are not responding to their medications.