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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 470985, 7 pages
Research Article

Predictors of Time to Relapse/Recurrence after Electroconvulsive Therapy in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A Population-Based Cohort Study

1Department of Psychiatry, Örebro County Council, Örebro University Hospital, 701 85 Örebro, Sweden
2Psychiatric Research Centre, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden
3Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 2 August 2011; Accepted 16 September 2011

Academic Editor: Takeshi Terao

Copyright © 2011 Axel Nordenskjöld et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The aim of the study is to define predictors of relapse/recurrence after electroconvulsive therapy, ECT, for patients with major depressive disorder. Methods. A study of all patients (n=486) treated by means of ECT for major depressive disorder was performed. The data were derived from a regional quality register in Sweden. Psychiatric hospitalisation or suicide was used as a marker for relapse/recurrence. Results. The relapse/recurrence rate within one year after ECT was 34%. Factors associated with increased risk of relapse/recurrence included comorbid substance dependence and treatment with benzodiazepines or antipsychotics during the follow-up period. Conclusions. Within the first years after ECT, relapses/recurrences leading to hospitalisation or suicide are common. Treatment with lithium might be beneficial, while benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, or continuation ECT does not seem to significantly reduce the risk of relapse/recurrence.