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December 1943

ELECTRIC CONVULSIVE THERAPY, WITH EMPHASIS ON IMPORTANCE OF ADEQUATE TREATMENT

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital, New York, and the Pilgrim State Hospital, Brentwood, N. Y.

Arch NeurPsych. 1943;50(6):652-660. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1943.02290240036002
Abstract

The value of shock treatment of mental disease is still disputed. At present electric convulsive therapy is probably the most widely used method. With some disorders indiscriminate use is favored because of its simplicity, whereas with others inadequate application is responsible for failures. This paper represents an endeavor to give indications for the application of this therapy, on the basis of experience with more than 1,500 patients treated by the same physician in two parallel series: the one, at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Hospital, and the other, representing institutional material, at the Pilgrim State Hospital.

Discrepancies in reports on the value of shock treatment demand a clear definition of the material from which conclusions are drawn. Statistical work on diagnostically doubtful and borderline cases is valueless at the present experimental stage. There are, however, clearcut cases of the various major psychoses in which disagreement as to diagnosis

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