An Efficacy Study of Electroconvulsive Therapy and Antidepressants in the Treatment of Primary Depression

Sharon Homan, Peter A. Lachenbruch, George Winokur, Paula Clayton

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32 Scopus citations

Abstract

At discharge, a significantly larger percentage of unipolar patients treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) respond with marked improvement as compared with those receiving antidepressants or other treatment. No treatment appears to be more efficacious in the bipolar group. In studying the covariables related to the length of time between hospitalizations, we found that the type of treatment is not important for the unipolar patient, whereas a combination of ECT and antidepressants lengthens the time to rehospitalization of the bipolar patient. Previous hospitalization is an important predictor variable for all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological medicine
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
that significantly more ECT patients recovered completely than the AD groups. Two prospective studies of interest are those made by the Medical Research Council (1965) and Greenblatt et al. (1964). These investigators allocated patients at random to various ECT, AD treatment and placebo groups. After an 8-weekand4-weektreatmentperiod, respectively, Greenblatt et al. and the Medical Research Council both reported that ECT was significantly superior to various antidepressant drugs in terms of response rates of marked improvement.

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