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Continuation-Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy: Quality Standards in 3 Australian Aged Psychiatry Services

O'Connor, Daniel W. MD, FRANZCP*; Gardner, Betina DPsych*; Presnell, Ian FRANZCP*; Singh, Dhiren FRANZCP*; Tsanglis, Maria FRANZCP; White, Erica FRANZCP

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181c18914
Original Studies

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:

This study was supported by the John Cockayne Memorial Aged Care Research Fund.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.