Electroconvulsive therapy: Effect of an educational experience on nursing students’ knowledge and attitudes

Eman Dawood, Abeer Selim, Amal Khalil


Objective: Despite the proved effectiveness of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of many psychiatric emergencies and disorders, there are many misconceptions and groundless negative attitudes about its prescription and utilization by many health professionals. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an educational experience including a two hours lecture on ECT and viewing a video of the ECT procedure on nursing students’ knowledge of and attitudes towards ECT.

Methodology: A quasi experimental research design was used to conduct the current study. A 28 – items (two constructs measuring students’ attitudes and knowledge) self administered questionnaire was administered before and after exposure to the two – hour lecture and a movie representing the ECT procedure to a non probability convenience sample of ninety seven female nursing students. Informed written consent was obtained from all students who agreed to participate in the study.

Results: Paired sample T. test showed significant differences in students’ scores before and after their educational experience in the psychiatric/mental health nursing course as following: attitude scores (t = 20.507, P < .000) knowledge score (t = 20.697, p < .000) and the total scale score (t = 23.849, p < .000). No statistically significant differences in the mean knowledge or attitude scores between those students who had a past experience with a person with a diagnosis of mental health problem and those students who did not have such past experience.

Conclusion: Positive educational experiences would increase the knowledge of ECT, which might in turn contribute to more favorable attitudes towards ECT. Proper educational materials and mass media programs aiming to increase students and practitioners’ awareness about ECT are recommended.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v3n9p123

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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