Long-term studies of the benefits of ECT do not confirm Dr Moore's claims. In a review study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1989, Dr Allan Scott wrote:
There is no agreed definition of recovery after ECT. There is debate about the quantitative improvement that is required, and about the timing of this assessment. When follow-up is extended beyond the period of hospital stay, the method of assessment may be unsatisfactory; for example, some recent outcome studies have relied on follow- up by telephone. The majority of patients with endogenous (biological) depression do well in the short term after ECT, but there is greater variability of outcome as the length of follow-up is extended. Recent outcome studies have found that less than one-third of patients remain well six months after ECT.
What justification can there be for using such an inefficient technique, which so many patients find frightening?
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