Objective: The authors examine the differences in outcome between black and white patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a part of the Consortium for Research on Electroconvulsive Therapy multisite study. Methods: A total of 624 patients were enrolled in an National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded, randomized, controlled ECT trial comparing the efficacy of continuation ECT versus continuation pharmacotherapy between 1997 and 2004. This analysis focuses on the 32 black and 483 white patients who participated in phase I of the study. The authors compared baseline demographic and clinical variables and acute outcomes of these 2 groups. Results: Compared with whites, far fewer blacks participated in the study. Those who did were less likely to have failed adequate medication trials and were more likely to have psychotic features. Their initial 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores were higher than those of the whites, and they showed a greater reduction in these 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores by the end of the treatment period. Although sample size limited the statistical significance of the findings, black patients also showed a higher rate of remission after an acute phase of ECT. Conclusions: This study found that black and white patients with major depressive disorder had comparable outcomes. We also found that fewer black patients received ECT than whites, a difference that has been reported in other samples.
- Consortium for Research on Electroconvulsive Therapy
- Electroconvulsive therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)