M.F. van Vreeswijk
- A retrospective controlled study into memory complaints reported by depressed patients after treatment with electroconvulsive therapy and pharmacotherapy or pharmacotherapy only
- Journal of ECT
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Few studies have been conducted comparing complaints of memory problems using objective and subjective memory scales in depressed patients who received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) + pharmacotherapy or treatment with pharmacotherapy only. Patients who suffer from depression according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (Fourth Edition) criteria and who were admitted within the past 5 years before this study in a general psychiatric hospital were screened for inclusion. Objective retrograde amnesia was assessed using the Autobiographical Memory Interview and the Amsterdam Media Questionnaire (AMQ). Subjective retrograde amnesia was assessed using the Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire and the ECT Retrograde Amnesia and Perception Scale (ERAPS), a newly developed scale. Twenty of the 84 patients who received ECT + pharmacotherapy and 30 of the 196 patients who received pharmacotherapy only participated in the study. Patients' ERAPS memory scores were compared with proxies' ERAPS memory scores of the patients to assess the reliability of memory complaints. The ECT + pharmacotherapy group was found to suffer more from memory problems using the AMQ 1990 test. There was also a difference for the proxy's ERAPS memory score, reflecting the conviction of proxies from the ECT + pharmacotherapy patients that these patients suffer more memory problems due to the illness, treatment with pharmacotherapy, or ECT. The differences could not be explained by the influence of determinants for retrograde amnesia. ECT + pharmacotherapy patients did not attribute their memory problems mainly to ECT but put equal "blame" on the depressive illness, treatment with pharmacotherapy, and ECT. The analyses suggest that the AMQ 1990s test is (more) sensitive in registering retrograde amnesia than the other scales used in the study.
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