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Reduced length and cost of hospital stay for major depression in patients treated with ECT
Am J Psychiatry 1987;144:1025-1029.
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To investigate the effect of treatment modality on length of hospital stay, the authors retrospectively studied 86 admissions of 74 patients with major depression. All 19 patients who received ECT recovered, in contrast to only 27 (49%) of 55 patients given tricyclic antidepressants or other medication. The 28 patients who had not responded to antidepressants recovered after treatment with ECT. Treatment modality had a highly significant effect on length of hospital stay: patients given ECT stayed a mean of 13 fewer days, saving more than $6,400 per patient at current rates. These findings of significant economic and therapeutic benefits in the use of ECT raise issues about treatment selection for depressed inpatients.

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