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September 1961

Hospitalized DepressionsDrugs or Electrotherapy?

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(3):276-279. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710150058009

Introduction  This study is an attempt to evaluate the role of the newer antidepressant drugs in the treatment of hospitalized psychotically depressed patients. There are 2 questions we must ask. Is electrotherapy or the use of drugs preferable in this group? How effective is our treatment? Since the advent of effective antidepressant drugs many of the mildly and moderately depressed patients are now treated on an outpatient basis. This would suggest that the patients coming into hospital are more difficult than formerly. These are patients who were too severely depressed to treat on an outpatient basis, patients in which the risk of suicide was considered to be too great, and patients who did not respond to previous methods of treatment. What kind of results can we expect in this "hard core" group of depressed patients?The classical studies of Huston and Locher,1,2 reported in 1948, indicated

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