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Predictors of Patient Satisfaction After Ultrabrief Bifrontal and Unilateral Electroconvulsive Therapies for Major Depression

Sienaert, Pascal A. MD*; Vansteelandt, Kristof PhD†; Demyttenaere, Koen MD, PhD‡; Peuskens, Joseph PhD†

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181ac3c8e
Original Studies

Objective: To assess patient satisfaction after ultrabrief electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

Method: As part of a larger clinical and neuropsychological assessment, a Patient Satisfaction Survey was obtained from patients participating in a randomized trial comparing bifrontal and unilateral ultrabrief ECT.

Results: Forty-eight patients (75%) completed the Patient Satisfaction Survey. Fifty-eight percent of the patients endorsed the statement "If my doctor recommended ECT in the future, I would choose to have ECT again." A greater change in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score (regression weight, 0.28; t1 = 5.30; P = < 0.0001) and the absence of psychotic symptoms at baseline (regression weight, −2.40; t1 = −2.54; P = 0.0148) predicted a higher satisfaction. In a multiple regression model with the same predictors but with change in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores being replaced by change in Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire scores, decrease in memory complaints proved to be a significant predictor of satisfaction. There were no significant differences between the patients given bifrontal ECT and those given unilateral ECT.

Conclusions: Patients report a considerable degree of satisfaction after ultrabrief ECT. Patients who experience a more robust improvement in depressive symptoms and subjective memory complaints, and who have no psychotic symptoms at baseline, are more satisfied after treatment.

From the *ECT Department and Department of Mood Disorders, University Psychiatric Center, Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Kortenberg, Belgium; †University Psychiatric Center, Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Kortenberg, Belgium; and ‡University Psychiatric Center, Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Received for publication December 26, 2008; accepted February 18, 2009.

Reprints: Pascal A. Sienaert, MD, University Psychiatric Center, University Psychiatric Center, Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Leuvensesteenweg 517, 3070 Kortenberg, Belgium (e-mail: pascal.sienaert@uc-kortenberg.be).

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Trial registry: http://www.controlled-trials.com/.

Registration number: ISRCTN56570426.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.