Awareness and perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy among psychiatric patients: A cross-sectional survey from teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan

Mehreen Arshad*, Ahmad Zafir Arham, Mansoor Arif, Maria Bano, Ayisha Bashir, Munira Bokutz, Maria Choudhary, Haider Naqvi, Murad Moosa Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is shown to be effective in many psychiatric illnesses, but its distorted projection by the Pakistani media and its unregulated use by many physicians across the country have adversely affected its acceptability. Given this situation we aimed to assess the awareness and perceptions regarding ECT as a treatment modality among the psychiatric patients. Methods: This was a questionnaire based cross-sectional study carried out at 2 tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Results: We interviewed 190 patients of which 140 were aware of ECT. The study showed that the level of education had a significant impact on the awareness of ECT (p = 0.009). The most common source of awareness was electronic and print media (38%), followed by relatives (24%) and doctors (23%). Physical injuries (42%) and neurological (12%) and cognitive disturbances (11%) were the commonly feared side effects. The most popular belief about ECT was that it was a treatment of last resort (56%). Thirty-nine percent thought that ECT could lead to severe mental and physical illness and 37% considered it inhumane. Patients' willingness to receive ECT was dependant on whether or not they were convinced of its safety (p = 0.001) and efficacy (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: We identified a serious lack of dissemination of information regarding ECT by the psychiatrists and the mental health care providers. This may be the result of an inadequate postgraduate training in Pakistan or just a lack of concern about the mentally ill patients. The media seemed to be the major source of information for our patients. We also saw the prevalence of a variety of myths regarding ECT in our society, which we feel may be responsible for the patients' adverse attitudes. Given the widespread applicability of ECT there is a dire need to dispel these misconceptions and improve its acceptability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 2007

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Electroconvulsive Therapy
Pakistan
Teaching Hospitals
Psychiatry
Cross-Sectional Studies
Information Dissemination
Mentally Ill Persons
Tertiary Healthcare
Tertiary Care Centers
Health Personnel
Mental Health
Physicians
Safety
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Arshad, Mehreen ; Arham, Ahmad Zafir ; Arif, Mansoor ; Bano, Maria ; Bashir, Ayisha ; Bokutz, Munira ; Choudhary, Maria ; Naqvi, Haider ; Khan, Murad Moosa. / Awareness and perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy among psychiatric patients : A cross-sectional survey from teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. In: BMC Psychiatry. 2007 ; Vol. 7.
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abstract = "Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is shown to be effective in many psychiatric illnesses, but its distorted projection by the Pakistani media and its unregulated use by many physicians across the country have adversely affected its acceptability. Given this situation we aimed to assess the awareness and perceptions regarding ECT as a treatment modality among the psychiatric patients. Methods: This was a questionnaire based cross-sectional study carried out at 2 tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Results: We interviewed 190 patients of which 140 were aware of ECT. The study showed that the level of education had a significant impact on the awareness of ECT (p = 0.009). The most common source of awareness was electronic and print media (38{\%}), followed by relatives (24{\%}) and doctors (23{\%}). Physical injuries (42{\%}) and neurological (12{\%}) and cognitive disturbances (11{\%}) were the commonly feared side effects. The most popular belief about ECT was that it was a treatment of last resort (56{\%}). Thirty-nine percent thought that ECT could lead to severe mental and physical illness and 37{\%} considered it inhumane. Patients' willingness to receive ECT was dependant on whether or not they were convinced of its safety (p = 0.001) and efficacy (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: We identified a serious lack of dissemination of information regarding ECT by the psychiatrists and the mental health care providers. This may be the result of an inadequate postgraduate training in Pakistan or just a lack of concern about the mentally ill patients. The media seemed to be the major source of information for our patients. We also saw the prevalence of a variety of myths regarding ECT in our society, which we feel may be responsible for the patients' adverse attitudes. Given the widespread applicability of ECT there is a dire need to dispel these misconceptions and improve its acceptability.",
author = "Mehreen Arshad and Arham, {Ahmad Zafir} and Mansoor Arif and Maria Bano and Ayisha Bashir and Munira Bokutz and Maria Choudhary and Haider Naqvi and Khan, {Murad Moosa}",
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Awareness and perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy among psychiatric patients : A cross-sectional survey from teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. / Arshad, Mehreen; Arham, Ahmad Zafir; Arif, Mansoor; Bano, Maria; Bashir, Ayisha; Bokutz, Munira; Choudhary, Maria; Naqvi, Haider; Khan, Murad Moosa.

In: BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 7, 27, 21.06.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Awareness and perceptions of electroconvulsive therapy among psychiatric patients

T2 - A cross-sectional survey from teaching hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan

AU - Arshad, Mehreen

AU - Arham, Ahmad Zafir

AU - Arif, Mansoor

AU - Bano, Maria

AU - Bashir, Ayisha

AU - Bokutz, Munira

AU - Choudhary, Maria

AU - Naqvi, Haider

AU - Khan, Murad Moosa

PY - 2007/6/21

Y1 - 2007/6/21

N2 - Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is shown to be effective in many psychiatric illnesses, but its distorted projection by the Pakistani media and its unregulated use by many physicians across the country have adversely affected its acceptability. Given this situation we aimed to assess the awareness and perceptions regarding ECT as a treatment modality among the psychiatric patients. Methods: This was a questionnaire based cross-sectional study carried out at 2 tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Results: We interviewed 190 patients of which 140 were aware of ECT. The study showed that the level of education had a significant impact on the awareness of ECT (p = 0.009). The most common source of awareness was electronic and print media (38%), followed by relatives (24%) and doctors (23%). Physical injuries (42%) and neurological (12%) and cognitive disturbances (11%) were the commonly feared side effects. The most popular belief about ECT was that it was a treatment of last resort (56%). Thirty-nine percent thought that ECT could lead to severe mental and physical illness and 37% considered it inhumane. Patients' willingness to receive ECT was dependant on whether or not they were convinced of its safety (p = 0.001) and efficacy (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: We identified a serious lack of dissemination of information regarding ECT by the psychiatrists and the mental health care providers. This may be the result of an inadequate postgraduate training in Pakistan or just a lack of concern about the mentally ill patients. The media seemed to be the major source of information for our patients. We also saw the prevalence of a variety of myths regarding ECT in our society, which we feel may be responsible for the patients' adverse attitudes. Given the widespread applicability of ECT there is a dire need to dispel these misconceptions and improve its acceptability.

AB - Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is shown to be effective in many psychiatric illnesses, but its distorted projection by the Pakistani media and its unregulated use by many physicians across the country have adversely affected its acceptability. Given this situation we aimed to assess the awareness and perceptions regarding ECT as a treatment modality among the psychiatric patients. Methods: This was a questionnaire based cross-sectional study carried out at 2 tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. Results: We interviewed 190 patients of which 140 were aware of ECT. The study showed that the level of education had a significant impact on the awareness of ECT (p = 0.009). The most common source of awareness was electronic and print media (38%), followed by relatives (24%) and doctors (23%). Physical injuries (42%) and neurological (12%) and cognitive disturbances (11%) were the commonly feared side effects. The most popular belief about ECT was that it was a treatment of last resort (56%). Thirty-nine percent thought that ECT could lead to severe mental and physical illness and 37% considered it inhumane. Patients' willingness to receive ECT was dependant on whether or not they were convinced of its safety (p = 0.001) and efficacy (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: We identified a serious lack of dissemination of information regarding ECT by the psychiatrists and the mental health care providers. This may be the result of an inadequate postgraduate training in Pakistan or just a lack of concern about the mentally ill patients. The media seemed to be the major source of information for our patients. We also saw the prevalence of a variety of myths regarding ECT in our society, which we feel may be responsible for the patients' adverse attitudes. Given the widespread applicability of ECT there is a dire need to dispel these misconceptions and improve its acceptability.

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