Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Study of Attitudes and Attitude Change after Seeing an Educational Video

Malcolm Battersby, David Ben-Tovim, Joylene Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the proven efficacy of Electroconvulsive Therapy [ECT], negative attitudes occur in some patients towards its use. However, research into attitudes of patients and public towards ECT, and the influence of the media on these attitudes, is limited and often contradictory. The aims of this study were: to develop a self-administered questionnaire to assess attitudes; to assess the effect of an educational video on attitudes; and to assess the effect of the media on attitudes. The questionnaire was administered to psychiatric and non-psychiatric patients of a Veterans’ hospital and to a group of general hospital patients. A video was shown to a randomly assigned group of the Veteran hospital psychiatric patients. Their attitudes were assessed before and after the video. An overall positive attitude towards ECT was demonstrated in all three groups. Showing a video to the Veteran psychiatric patients produced an improvement in some attitudes, but no reduction in fear. For the psychiatric patients, the effect of the media was negative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-619
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


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