Electroconvulsive Therapy Practice in the Kingdom of Denmark: A Nationwide Register- and Questionnaire-Based Study

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  • Didde Bjørnshauge, Mental Health Center Glostrup
  • ,
  • Simon Hjerrild
  • Poul Videbech, Københavns Universitet, Mental Health Center Glostrup

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to survey and describe the contemporary practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands). METHODS: Data regarding number of ECTs and number of patients with different diagnoses treated with ECT were retrieved from the Danish National Patient Registry. In addition, a 45-item questionnaire was sent to all psychiatric departments practicing ECT in Denmark (n = 26), Greenland (n = 1), and the Faroe Islands (n = 1). RESULTS: According to the Danish National Patient Registry, a total of 21,730 ECTs were administered to 1891 unique patients in 2017. All departments responded to the survey. The psychiatric departments' attitude toward ECT was generally favorable and in accord with official guidelines. Maintenance ECT was used in all departments but one. Bilateral electrode placement was preferred. All departments used a preselected age-based dosing strategy. Involuntary ECT was performed in 96% of the psychiatric departments, but infrequently (3% of all treatments). All departments used a Thymatron (brief pulse) device, and in 71% of the departments, ECT was given in a specialized ECT unit and preanesthetic evaluation was carried out in all departments. The departments reported several different practices regarding documentation and monitoring of treatment effect, patient consent, screening for side effects (including cognitive side effects), and guidelines for the discharge of ECT patients. CONCLUSIONS: Electroconvulsive therapy is frequently used in Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands in a relatively uniform way in adherence with clinical guidelines.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftThe journal of ECT
Vol/bind35
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)258-263
Antal sider6
ISSN1095-0680
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

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