Electroconvulsive therapy stimulus dosing: A survey of contemporary practices

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27 Scopus citations


There is debate in the psychiatric community regarding how to optimize electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). American Psychiatric Association recommendations suggest a moderately suprathreshhold stimulus intensity, yet little information is available regarding how practitioners select initial ECT stimulus doses. We report the results of a nationwide study of common ECT practices. Respondents provided their most commonly used electrode placement, method of determining stimulus intensity, and type of ECT device. Our results showed a high degree of variability in ECT methods, and those practitioners 'specializing' in ECT were no more likely than nonspecialists to titrate stimulus intensity at the first treatment. Indeed, a fixed high-dose stimulus, stimulus titration, and stimulus intensity calculated by formula were each widely used by both ECT specialists and nonspecialists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalConvulsive Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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