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Clinical Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients Submitted to Electroconvulsive Therapy

Antunes, Paula Barros MD*; Fleck, Marcelo P. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e318190b2a9
Original Studies

Objectives: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on clinical and quality of life improvement in patients hospitalized at the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre and to compare psychopathology measures between the patient's and the physician's perspectives.

Methods: In a longitudinal and observational study, 58 patients who submitted to ECT were assessed for clinical symptoms and quality of life before and 24 hours after treatment. Symptoms were assessed using the Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale 32 (BASIS-32), Brief Psychiatry Rating Scale-Anchored (BPRS-A), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI). Quality of life was assessed using the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQOL-BREF) assessment.

Results: Of 58 patients assessed, 25 (43.1%) had major depression and 23 (39.7%) had bipolar disorder. Electroconvulsive therapy was indicated because of resistant depression in 47 patients (81.1%). There was a significant difference (P < 0.001) between the periods before and after ECT in BASIS-32, BPRS-A, and CGI scores and in all WHOQOL domains, with greater difference in physical and psychological domains than in social relationships and environment. Size effects of BASIS-32 and BPRS scales were similar.

Conclusion: Electroconvulsive therapy is associated with improvement in symptoms and in quality of life of patients with psychiatric disorders, which could be seen in measurements assessed by physicians (BPRS and CGI) and by patients (WHOQOL and BASIS-32). There was similarity between the patient's and the physician's perspectives.

From the *Postgraduate Program, and †Departamento de Psiquiatria, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Received for publication July 17, 2008; accepted October 8, 2008.

Reprints: Paula Barros Antunes, MD, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350 4th floor, 90035-903 Porto Alegre, Brazil (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.