Characteristics of Successful Transitions from Inpatient to Outpatient Electroconvulsive Therapy

Maria I. Lapid, Diane McNally Forsyth, Teresa L. Hegard, Emily A. Jazdzewski, Jane E. Clobes, Debra A. Ryan, Christopher Sola, Bruce Sutor, Simon Kung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to identify clinical and psychosocial factors involved in transitioning hospitalized patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) from the inpatient to the outpatient setting and to propose an algorithm to guide clinicians with this process.Methods:A retrospective chart review was completed for adult patients discharged from a psychiatric hospital from 2002 to 2012 who had an acute course of ECT that was initiated in the hospital and completed as an outpatient. We reviewed demographic and clinical information and outcomes, including ECT treatments.Results:Among the 277 patients who were identified, the mean age was 52.2 years, 60% were women, and 66% were married. The mean length of hospital stay was 12.9 days, and the mean number of ECT treatments was 4.9 as an inpatient and 3.1 as an outpatient. The most frequent primary diagnosis was depression. Most patients (81%) had a responsible adult at home. Patients had good cognitive functioning at both baseline and discharge, and showed improved functional status at discharge (P<0.001 for change in scores on the Global Assessment of Functioning from admission to discharge).Conclusions:Factors such as improved cognitive and functional status from admission to discharge, a medically uncomplicated course, and a responsible adult at home were observed among patients transitioned from inpatient to outpatient ECT. On the basis of these study results, a review of the literature, and clinical experience, an algorithm to assist clinical decisions for ECT transitioning was developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of psychiatric practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • caregiver
  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • hospital
  • length of stay
  • neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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