Objective: To check if experienced psychiatrists in Victoria, Australia, observed the standards outlined by the American Psychiatric Association and the Royal College of Psychiatrists regarding the administration and monitoring of continuation-maintenance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Methods: A retrospective chart review of 60 consecutive patients given continuation-maintenance ECT in 3 Victorian public aged psychiatry services.
Results: Practice guidelines were often not observed concerning documentation of treatment plans, mental state reviews and patients' and carers' viewpoints.
Conclusions: Continuation-maintenance ECT proved highly effective in this clinical sample. Our audit identifies areas for improvement in clinical practice. It will be helpful to have a simple checklist of treatment plans, rating scale scores, and discussions with patients and carers that clinicians can complete at regular intervals.
From the *Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University; and †Caulfield General Medical Centre, Melbourne and ‡Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
Received for publication April 21, 2009; accepted June 9, 2009.
Reprints: Daniel O'Connor, MD, FRANZCP, Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and Kingston Centre, Warrigal Rd, Cheltenham, Victoria 3192, Australia (e-mail: Daniel.Oconnor@med.monash.edu.au).
This study was supported by the John Cockayne Memorial Aged Care Research Fund.