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Student Research Guide: The Modern Relevance of Electroshock Therapy: Home

By Elisa Perez

Introduction to the Topic

ATTENTION: The following research guide contains information regarding the controversial practice of electroshock therapy. Some may find the content discussed potentially disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

Electroshock therapy is the application of electrical impulses to treat various ailments, almost always related to psychological disorders or difficulties.  Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the only variant which has seen any proper success yet is still mired in controversy. This is not to mention the numerous other attempts to utilize electric shocks to remedy the ill, all of which have proven to be a divisive mixed bag of results in their own rights. It is because of this clouded information that one may ask whether or not electroshock therapy has a place in the medical industry.

Old electric shock therapy chair and machine at former Kew… | Flickr

Main research questions:

  • What is the public consensus on ECT?
  • What is the professional consensus on ECT?
  • What are other "shock therapies" that exist and have been used recently?
  • How have these other shock therapies impacted the public image of ECT?

Keywords for searching the topic

  • "Electroshock Therapy"
  • "Electroconvulsive Therapy"/ECT

Best Databases/Search Engines

Start Your Research Here

Simon, & Bernstein, J. (2001). Shock Treatment. Columbia Broadcasting System.

This video lays a very clear foundation in terms of knowledge regarding ECT, presenting not only a professional opinion but also that of those who oppose the application of the practice.

Loo, C. (2013). ECT in the 21st century: ultrabrief pulse stimulation. Australian Prescriber, 36(1), 22–23.

This source provides a quick rundown of various statistics related to ECT. This can be very helpful in regards to understanding where professionals are coming from with their stances along with fleshing out one's own opinion on the practice.

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