Electroconvulsive Therapy in the Treatment of Mood Disorders: One-Year Follow-up.

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Electroconvulsive Therapy in the Treatment of Mood Disorders: One-Year Follow-up.

Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2017 Sep;54(3):196-201

Authors: Çakir S, Çağlar N

INTRODUCTION: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is known to be an effective option in the treatment of mood disorders, especially resistant depression. However, the remission achieved by ECT was reported to be not long lasting enough. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relapse/recurrence rates and associated risk factors during the first year after ECT in patients diagnosed with mood disorders.
METHODS: In a naturalistic observation, patients diagnosed with unipolar depressive disorder or a depressive episode of bipolar disorder and who had achieved remission by ECT were followed up for at least one year. The patients were evaluated with structured interviews during the follow-up period. The relapse/recurrence rates were the primary outcome measurements, while hospitalization and suicide attempts were the secondary outcome measurements. The remitted and non-remitted patients were compared regarding the clinical features, ECT, and pharmacological variables.
RESULTS: Fifty of 62 patients who had achieved remission with ECT completed the one year follow-up period. Thirty-three patients (66%) had relapse/recurrence, while 17 (34%) patients remained in remission. The relapse rates were similar in patients with unipolar depression and bipolar disorders. The mean number of ECT sessions was higher in relapsed patients with bipolar disorders. Multiple episodes were more frequent in non-remitted patients with unipolar depression. Comorbid psychiatric diagnosis was higher in non-remitted patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders.
CONCLUSION: The relapse/recurrence rate was found to be fairly high in the first year of follow-up in patients who had achieved remission with ECT. ECT decisions should be made carefully in patients with comorbid psychiatric diagnosis and multiple episodes as these are more risky. The ECT application procedure and successive maintenance treatment (maintenance ECT, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy) should be planned to sustain the remission for patients with mood disorders in long-term follow-up.

PMID: 29033629 [PubMed]