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July 24, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(13):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840300034011

For some time shock therapy has occupied the center of psychiatric interest. It is practiced to greater or lesser extent in three hundred and five hospitals for mental diseases, public and private.1 Many questions with regard to its therapeutic values under various conditions are still to be answered; in fact, psychiatrists are far from agreement as to its methods, indications and results. Lewis2 points out that the facts needed to evaluate shock therapy properly are not yet available in spite of its extensive clinical use. The results published appear to be discordant. The statistics reveal a rather chaotic state of affairs. To quote Lewis, "there is as yet no consensus of the basic value of any of these treatments [insulin, metrazol, electric currents and other shock producers], some authors being very enthusiastic over their results, others being unconvinced of favorable results, and still others expressing frank opinions on