Objective: We present our 3 years’ experience with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) practice in Bakirkoy Research and Training Hospital for Psychiatric and Neurological Diseases (BAKIRKOY) ECT Center after modification of ECT regulations in Turkey. Also included in this article is a brief overview and discussion on ECT applications.
Methods: Bakirkoy medical records in electronic database were examined retrospectively (between January 2008 and December 2010), focusing on several aspects of short-term use of ECT: patient’s age, sex, and diagnosis; mean number of treatments per patient; duration of stay in hospital; percentage of ECT use in hospitalized patients; and frequency and types of adverse events.
Results: A total of 3490 patients hospitalized for acute conditions (2138 men and 1352 women) were treated with ECT in a period of 3 years, with a total of 27,660 ECT treatments performed. The total number of psychiatric patients hospitalized for acute conditions was 24,310 (14,132 men and 10,178 women) during the same period. The ratio of ECT use among acute care hospitalizations was 1:6.97 (14.36%). The mean ± SD age of patients treated with ECT was 35.02 ± 11.29. The mean ± SD number of ECT sessions was 7.89 ± 2.86. Affective disorders (46.99%) and psychotic disorders (52.12%) were among the leading diagnoses. No deaths occurred during ECT sessions, and no severe adverse events were observed.
Conclusion: The percentage of patients treated with ECT in BAKIRKOY is similar to rates reported in most Asian countries, which is higher than those reported in Western psychiatric centers. Absence of any life-threatening adverse effect or death, and presence of relatively few adverse effects, may be considered as an indication of conformity to current guidelines.