Last Resort Interventions? A Qualitative Study of Psychiatrists’ Experience with and Views on Psychiatric Electroceutical Interventions

L. Y. Cabrera, G. R. Nowak, A. M. McCright, E. Achtyes, R. Bluhm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Psychiatrists play an important role in providing access to psychiatric electrical interventions (PEIs) such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). As such, their views on these procedures likely influence whether they refer or provide these types of treatments for their clinically depressed patients. Despite this, scholars have too infrequently examined psychiatrists’ views about specific PEIs and have not yet examined their views across different PEIs. To gain insight into psychiatrists’ views about PEIs, we conducted a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with 16 psychiatrists in Michigan. The majority of psychiatrists had a positive attitude towards PEIs in general. One-third reported cautionary attitudes towards PEIs; they did not reject the interventions but were skeptical of their effectiveness or felt they needed further development. The majority of psychiatrists consider ECT and TMS to be viable therapies that they would discuss with their patients after several failed medication trials. There was a lack of knowledge about surgical PEIs, such as deep brain stimulation. This study provides insights into how psychiatrists perceive PEIs. While broadly positive attitudes exist, this research highlights certain challenges, particularly lack of knowledge and ambiguity about the use of PEIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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