Public attitudes towards electroconvulsive therapy in the Chuvash Republic

Andrei Golenkov, Gabor S. Ungvari, Gábor Gazdag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Public attitudes towards a given medical procedure can have a significant influence on the employment of that method. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that has received an exceptionally ambiguous public reception since its inception. Aim: To survey the level of information about and attitudes towards ECT in a general population sample of the Chuvash Republic of the Russian Federation. Methods: A randomly selected cohort of 5,373 people was contacted by telephone. The respondents were asked three closed and three open questions. Results: The response rate was 74.7%. Only 35.2% of those interviewed said they knew anything about ECT. Health professionals and younger respondents were better informed. The two main sources of information about ECT were foreign films and the mass media. The main indication of ECT was thought to be schizophrenia. The majority (63.3%) of the respondents had negative opinions and emotions about ECT. Conclusion: Limited information about and generally negative attitudes towards ECT were found in the general population of the Chuvash Republic. Gender, age, education level, employment in the health industry, and information source were found to be the determining factors in the knowledge of and attitudes towards ECT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2012



  • Chuvash Republic
  • attitude
  • electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
  • knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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