Decisional Capacity of Depressed Elderly to Consent to Electroconvulsive Therapy

Maria Isabel Lapid, Teresa A. Rummans, V. Shane Pankratz, Paul S. Appelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to determine the abilities of severely depressed elderly to consent to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and to investigate the impact of educational intervention on their capacity. Forty severely depressed adults referred for ECT, with Mini-Mental State Examination scores greater than 20, were recruited. Using the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment (MacCAT-T), decisional capacities were assessed at baseline and reassessed after education. Between the 2 assessments, all subjects received standard education, and half of the group was subsequently randomized to receive further education. At baseline, the geriatric group scored lower on understanding, reasoning, and choice and higher on appreciation. After education, all MacCAT-T scores increased for both age groups. Depressed elderly in the sample, as a group, had adequate decisional capacities to consent to ECT. They showed greater improvement in decisional capacity with education. The findings highlight the importance of providing education to the elderly to optimize their ability to give informed consent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

Electroconvulsive Therapy
Education
Aptitude
Mental Competency
Informed Consent
Geriatrics
Age Groups
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Decisional capacity
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Geriatric depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Decisional Capacity of Depressed Elderly to Consent to Electroconvulsive Therapy. / Lapid, Maria Isabel; Rummans, Teresa A.; Pankratz, V. Shane; Appelbaum, Paul S.

In: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 03.2004, p. 42-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lapid, Maria Isabel ; Rummans, Teresa A. ; Pankratz, V. Shane ; Appelbaum, Paul S. / Decisional Capacity of Depressed Elderly to Consent to Electroconvulsive Therapy. In: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. 2004 ; Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 42-46.
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