Patients' perceptions of the process of consenting of electroconvulsive therapy

Fisher, Paul, Johnstone, Lucy, and Williamson, Kathryn (2011) Patients' perceptions of the process of consenting of electroconvulsive therapy. Journal of Mental Health, 20 (4). pp. 347-354.

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Background: The concept of valid consent has become important for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). However, many patients feel that they do not have enough information before consenting and a significant minority feel coerced into consenting. Little is known about what factors account for these views.

Aim: To explore patients' perceptions about how they consented to ECT.

Method: Twelve participants were interviewed about their experiences of consenting to ECT. Interviews were subjected to a thematic analysis.

Results: Participants' perceptions of consenting to ECT were complex, and interpersonal factors were found to be important. Many participants felt that they had consented without adequate information from medical sources and that they had little choice to agree. Two participants consented to ECT as either a form of self-harm or hoping it would kill them.

Conclusion: Consenting to ECT is more complex than currently recognised and involves interpersonal and systemic factors. As a result, people may consent because they feel that they have little choice. Implications for practice are discussed.

Item ID: 21091
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0963-8237
Keywords: electroconvulsive therapy, consent, coercion, information, decision making
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 03:48
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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