BACKGROUND The longer term prognosis of depressed patients treated with ECT is relatively unknown. We describe seven-year mortality and readmission risks for the Nottingham ECT series.
METHOD Cases were defined and subtyped using the Present State Examination (PSE). Follow-up was naturalistic. Death and readmission were ascertained using the Nottingham case register.
RESULTS The risk of death was doubled (SMR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.34-2.84, P < 0.001). The seven-year cumulative probability of remaining without readmission was 0.27 (95% CI 0.19-0.35), being 0.79 (0.71-0.87) at 16 weeks (relapse) and 0.34 (0.24-0.44) thereafter (recurrence readmissions). Multiple regression analysis showed that delusions predicted relapse, while endogenous subtype, absence of psychomotor retardation, and previous history predicted recurrence readmissions.
CONCLUSION Index ECT treatment predicted high longer-term mortality and readmission risks. PSE/CATEGO-based subtyping identified patients most vulnerable to relapse and recurrence.