Effectivity and cost-effectivity of the maintenance electroconvulsive therapy: A mirror naturalistic analysis

Albert Cosculluela, Jesús Cobo, Erika Martínez-Amorós, Montse Panõs, Ángel M. Santiago, Sara Crivillés, Mariá Camposo, Joan C. Oliva, Albert Granero, Diego J. Palao

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy (mECT) is a biological long-term treatment in which patients receive ECT on periods from 2 to 4 weeks, during a variable period of time, usually for more than 6 months. Recent studies showed the efficacy of mECT in prevention of relapse and recurrences. Our study wants to demostrate the effectivity and cost-effectivity of this therapy in the naturalistic conditions of our area. Methodology. Design: Retrospective longitudinal study, with mirror analysis in naturalistic conditions. Subjects: Patients attended at the Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí (Sabadell, Catalonia), and included in the mECT program during more than six months. We performed diagnostic following DSM-IV criteria, subdividing the sample in three groups: Patients affected of Recurrent Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. Measures: Number and duration of hospitalizations for the previous three years before the beginning of mECT, compared with the same data for the next three years following the beginning of mECT. Comparative analysis of direct hospitalization costs, costs of the mECT and pharmacologic costs. Statistic: Descriptive and non-parametric tests. Results. Sample of 35 patients (1997-2008). There is a significative reduction the number of hospitalizations and days of hospitalization in the total sample and also in each of the three subgroups. The direct total cost decreased but it was only significant in the Bipolar Disorder subgroup, due to the increased pharmacological costs. Conclusions. mECT in our area is an effective and costeffective treatment with a great impact on the reduction of clinical decline and hospitalizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
JournalActas Espanolas de Psiquiatria
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Cost
  • Effectivity
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Maintenance


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