Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often given by a specialist ECT team on behalf of a patient’s treating psychiatrist. A key aspect of this interface is the communication between these care teams. This study describes the introduction of an ECT treatment report at the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen. The aim of the current study was to evaluate whether these reports were useful to psychiatrist.
The report was designed to provide feedback to the treating psychiatrists on a range cognitive (Mini Mental State Examination, spatial recognition memory on the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Testing Battery, Squire Subjective Memory Scale, and Prospective And Retrospective Memory Questionnaire) and mood scores (Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale) routinely collected by the ECT team. The reports contain the patient’s score and the mean of all patients treated in the service. A questionnaire was sent to all treating psychiatrists to evaluate the usefulness of the reports.
A 76% response rate was obtained. The reports were well received by treating teams, among whom 78.9% thought they were necessary, 74% thought they were easy to understand, and 79% thought the report was informative. A minority 47.4% thought the report influenced clinical practice, and only 31.3% showed the report to patients.
From the results of our evaluation, the provision of an “ECT Treatment Report” providing a summary of the routinely collected mood and cognitive rating data was useful for psychiatrists prescribing ECT. It is thus likely that such a report would be useful in other ECT services.