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Electroconvulsive Therapy: a Video-Based Educational Resource Using Standardized Patients

  • Kitay, Brandon1
  • Martin, Andrés2
  • Chilton, Julie2
  • Amsalem, Doron3
  • Duvivier, Robbert4
  • Goldenberg, Matthew1
  • 1 Yale School of Medicine,
  • 2 Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine,
  • 3 Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine,
  • 4 University Medical Center Groningen,
Published Article
Academic Psychiatry
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Aug 04, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s40596-020-01292-z
PMID: 32754879
PMCID: PMC7402389
PubMed Central


Objective Video-based depictions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be useful for educational purposes, but many of the readily available resources may worsen already stigmatized views of the procedure. Educators’ common reliance on such material highlights the paucity of equipoised depictions of modern ECT well suited for the training of health professionals. The authors developed and tested a new educational module enhanced by videotaped depictions of a simulated patient undergoing the consent, treatment, recovery, and follow-up phases of ECT. Methods The didactic intervention interspersed 7 short video clips (totaling 14 min) into a 55-min lecture on treatment-resistant depression. The session, part of an intensive course of preclinical psychiatry, was delivered online through synchronous videoconferencing with Zoom. The primary outcome measure was change in the Questionnaire on Attitudes and Knowledge of ECT (QuAKE). Results Fifty-three out of 63 (87%) eligible second-year medical students completed assessments at baseline and after exposure to the didactic intervention. QuAKE scores improved between baseline and endpoint: the Attitudes composite increased from 49.4 ± 6.1 to 59.1 ± 5.7 (paired t 10.65, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d 0.69), and the Knowledge composite from 13.3 ± 1.2 to 13.9 ± 0.8 (paired t 3.97, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d 0.23). Conclusions These video-based educational materials proved easy to implement in the virtual classroom, were amenable to adaptation by end-use instructors, were well received by learners, and led to measurable changes in students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward ECT.

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