Time to Acknowledge the Bias of Some ECT Researchers and Defenders


From The Lancet Psychiatry: John Read, Christopher Harrop and Jim Geekie respond to criticism of their article (“A second independent audit of electroconvulsive therapy in England, 2019: Usage, demographics, consent, and adherence to guidelines and legislation” in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice) by Tania Gergel and colleagues in The Lancet Psychiatry. 

“Gergel and colleagues portray research findings that are contrary to their opinions as somehow stigmatising electroconvulsive therapy. They assert that electroconvulsive therapy is not only safe but is ‘the most effective of psychiatric treatments’, in the absence of a single study, after 80 years, showing superiority to placebo beyond the end of treatment. If their claim were true, what would that say about psychiatry’s other treatments? If electroconvulsive therapy is so very effective and so very safe, why is it used only by a tiny and dwindling number of psychiatrists?”

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