Health-related quality of life and the practice of electroconvulsive therapy

Peter B. Rosenquist, Gretchen B. Brenes, Elizabeth M. Arnold, James Kimball, Vaughn McCall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the past several decades, health-related quality of life (HRQL) measures have become increasingly important as a type of patient-reported outcome documenting the subjective psychosocial burden associated with chronic illness. This article provides an introduction to HRQL, summarizes the measurement of HRQL in major depression and bipolar disorder, and reviews electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) studies that have measured HRQL. Health-related quality-of-life definitions and instruments vary widely but have nonetheless proven useful for evaluating the effects of disease and its treatment. Psychiatric disorders profoundly affect HRQL and, in many cases, exceed or contribute to the disease burden imposed by serious physical illness. An emerging literature demonstrates the importance of ECT in restoring function and HRQL in depressed patients. To keep pace as medicine is transformed along the dimensions outlined by the Institute of Medicine's Quality Chasm framework, ECT research must provide evidence supporting its safety and effectiveness and also that the treatment is patient-centered. A research agenda to demonstrate the subjective benefits of ECT must be mirrored by a practice of ECT that is increasingly customized to patient needs and values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Major depression
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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