Older adults’ experiences of electroconvulsive therapy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Stewart, Claire (2014) Older adults’ experiences of electroconvulsive therapy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3086287


Background: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is prescribed in cases of severe and treatment resistant depression. Its efficacy in reducing depressive symptoms is well established, but due to uncertainty regarding its impact on cognitive functioning, remains one of the most controversial treatments in psychiatry. The experiences of patients undergoing ECT are rarely examined, and studies that have investigated this are generally conducted with younger adults using quantitative methods that may obscure the expression of complex attitudes. Aims: The present study investigates older adults’ experiences of ECT in Scotland using a qualitative methodology. Methods: Four older adults (over 65 years of age) who had experienced ECT within the last five years were interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to explore participants’ experiences of ECT. Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data: experience of depression, power and control, and changing beliefs about ECT. Conclusions: Recommendations are made for clinicians and healthcare providers. 1) Information about ECT should be provided in an oral format on a one to one basis, 2) medical professionals should be alert to the possibility of coercion, 3) action should be taken to reduce anticipatory anxiety regarding ECT’s potential impact and 4) meeting patients for up to two sessions after undergoing ECT may be beneficial. These recommendations can be used to contribute to existing improvements in delivery of care and treatment for older adults receiving ECT.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, older adults, IPA, subjective experience
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Dr. Hamish and Mullen, Dr. Kenneth
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Ms Claire Stewart
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5631
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 16:31
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2014 16:33
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5631

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