Electroconvulsive therapy: a comparison of knowledge and attitudes of student nurses and staff mental health nurses at a psychiatric hospital in Nigeria

B O James, A O Lawani, J O Omoaregba, E W Isa
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2010, 17 (2): 141-6
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is effective in the treatment of some psychiatric disorders. Among other reasons, service users may refuse ECT when indicated due to myth and little or lack of knowledge about the procedure. The knowledge of and attitude towards ECT among nurses may reflect on patients and influence treatment choice. Previous studies, conducted in developed countries have explored knowledge and attitudes towards ECT among nurses, but none have been conducted in this part of the world. The following article compares the knowledge of and attitude towards ECT among student and staff mental health nurses at a psychiatric hospital in Nigeria. A cross sectional survey of 135 student nurses and staff mental health nurses showed that knowledge and attitude scores were more positive among staff mental health nurses compared with student mental health nurses. Additional years of experience correlated with better knowledge and positive attitudes among staff mental health nurses. Overall, the majority of the respondents felt that ECT was beneficial to patients, was overused and required guidelines for its practice in this country.

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