The Impact of ECT on the Mean Duration of Hospitalisation of Patients in the Psychiatric Unit, Kath, Kumasi, Ghana

Authors : Addo FM; Adjaottor ES; Amoah C; Asare J; Appiah F; Amankwaah GB

Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 7 - July

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The impact of ECT on the duration of hospitalisation of patients at the Psychiatric directorate in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), in Kumasi-Ghana, has not been investigated yet, although the available evidence on the speed and effectiveness of ECT in treating severe mental illnesses like Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD) and Schizophrenia has been documented extensively globally. To investigate the impact of ECT treatment on the mean length of hospitalisation of patients treated with it compared to those who were not, at the Psychiatric directorate of KATH with the aim of offering evidencedbased clinical advice to the managers, practitioners, patients and their carers on the therapy. Using archival research method, data on patients treated at the Psychiatric directorate of KATH, from 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017 when ECT was part of the treatments offered in the unit (The ECT group) and 1 st July 2018 to 30th June 2019 when no ECT treatment was not available (No ECT group), were extracted from their clinical records, analysed and compared with emphasis on the mean duration of hospitalization for each group. The same comparison was done for their diagnostic subgroups. ECT treated patients had a longer mean length of hospitalisation compared to non-ECT treated patients. ECT treated Schizophrenia patients had a significantly longer mean length of hospitalisation but ECT treated Postpartum psychosis patients had an insignificant longer mean length of hospitalisation with p-Values at the 5% level. ECT had no impact on the mean length of hospitalisation for BAD patients. ECT treated depressed patients had an insignificant shorter mean length of hospitalisation at the 5% level. Patients treated with ECT are more likely to be hospitalised longer than their counterparts who are treated with other interventions. The impact, depending on diagnoses, is variable. Clinicians must consider recommending ECT earlier to who might need it in order not to prolong their period of hospitalization.

Keywords : Electroconvulsive Therapy, Severe Mental Disorders, Duration of Hospitalisation, Pharmacotherapy, Treatment Resistance


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