We have studied electroconvulsive therapy application in a 24 patient psychiatric ward during the period between 2000 and 2007.
In our sample, consistent on 70 electroconvulsive cycles applicated in 53 patients applications, the measured variables were: gender, age, diagnosis, previous processes, previous administration of ECT, duration of the present episode, previous treatment before ECT including drugs used and treatment compliance, average number of ECT applications, response to the administration, treatment at discharge and evidence of the appearance of subsequent psichoorganic deficit.
Average age of patients treated with ECT was 55, 81 years, being mostly women (67, 14%). Diagnosis in our sample were melancholy, psychotic or non psychotic (41, 42%), and manic depressive psychosis or schizoaffective psychosis, most frecuently in a depressive episode, although also during manic o mixed episodes. Schizophrenic psychosis only takes up a discreet percentage of the sample (11, 42%).
Average of applied sessions was 5, 52 sessions per patient, obtaining very successful results in most cases (92, 86 %). Globally, the ECT was well tolerated specially in those cases in which the process that justified ECT were not associated to previous persistent intellectual deficit. From these patients just five of them had post- ECT administration confusional symptoms. We found manic symptoms in five cases.
Electroconvulsive therapy was administrated as prophylactic intervention in several melancholic patients and as maintenance therapy.