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July 1961

Behavioral Patterns in Convulsive Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Experimental Psychiatry, Hillside Hospital.
Present Address: Division of Psychiatry, Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, N. Y. (Dr. Kahn).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(1):30-36. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710130032004

Individual differences in the behavioral response to convulsive therapy are marked. In psychiatric practice, patients with similar psychopathologic syndromes, and of similar sex and age, show a variety of clinical responses: Some improve and sustain such change; some improve, only to relapse quickly; and some fail to improve. These differences have been related to the degree and duration of induced neurophysiological change,3,6 premorbid patterns of personality,5,11,15 sociopsychological characteristics,13, 15 and psychotherapeutic approaches.1 While these studies have emphasized ratings of improvement, the derivative nature of this evaluation and its dependence on staff attitudes, expectations, and family tolerance have been stressed.2,4,5,8

The manifest behavioral patterns provide the basis for the evaluations of clinical response. It is the purpose of this report to describe behavioral patterns in patients undergoing convulsive therapy and to relate these to problems of the evaluation of improvement and

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