Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that is used to treat severe mental health disorders such as clinical depression, mania and psychosis. This Course explores the history and theories underpinning the use of ECT, who may benefit from this form of treatment and how any adverse effects may be prevented.
- The origin of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT)
- Electrode placement
- Indications and contraindications
- Minimising adverse effects
Nurses and other health professionals caring for people who are undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).
Enhance knowledge of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) as a treatment for some types of mental health conditions.
Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that is commonly used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, namely, clinical depression, mania and psychosis. Nurses have cared for people undergoing ECT since its inception, and an important part of their care is the provision of information and psychological support. People receiving ECT and their carers may seek explanation and reassurance from nurses regarding their treatment.
In order to provide sufficient information and support, healthcare professionals must understand what ECT is and why it is used – there is a need to be able to answer the questions of people undergoing ECT and their carers over the course of their treatment.
- Describe ECT and how the treatment works
- Identify the mental health disorders for which ECT is indicated
- Identify the mental and physical conditions for which it is contraindicated
- Describe adverse effects associated with ECT and how they can be minimised
No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ experience of working with individuals and families impacted by the experience of mental illness. Using a feminist narrative methodology, her PhD research explored the way that women diagnosed with depression made decisions and meanings about receiving electroconvulsive therapy. As a lecturer in nursing at USC, Karen-Ann is responsible for the coordination of mental health curricula across multiple undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Teaching in excess of 900 undergraduate students each year, she is passionate about the value that immersive mental health simulation can bring to student’s learning and clinical skills and the way that it can safely bring to life theoretical concepts related to mental healthcare. Karen-Ann currently supervises a number of honours, masters and PhD students and is part of numerous research projects, involving visualisation and simulation, mental illness, suicide prevention and the inclusion of people with lived experience of mental illness into the teaching and learning space. See Educator Profile