n South African Psychiatry Review - Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) : an Egyptian perspective : review article

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1811-7805



The world celebrated 68 years of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) recently. Whilst ECT has stood the test of time for nearly six decades. stigma remains one of the main issues that needs to be addressed. ECT is a technically advanced and effective treatment that is often misunderstood and maligned not only by the lay public but by psychiatrists as well. One of the main causes of stigma is the nomenclature which needs to be changed since shock and convulsion are absent when giving modified ECT. Based on the evidence derived from randomized controlled trials and extensive clinical experience for nearly 70 years, ECT is presently the most effective treatment for certain psychiatric disorders. The most transient memory disturbance is a moderate price for what can be achieved, as the benefit to risk ratio of ECT is usually favorable. The economic aspects of ECT use in Egypt, as well as the problem of ECT training, are discussed in this paper. The ethical aspects of ECT are reviewed as well as the discrepancies between developed and developing countries in its application, which needs to be addressed from a transcultural perspective.

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