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1h 15m

Electro-Convulsive Therapy

Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that is used to treat severe mental health disorders such as clinical depression, mania and psychosis. This Course explores the history and theories underpinning the use of ECT, who may benefit from this form of treatment and how any adverse effects may be prevented.

10 Oct 2017

Learning Outcomes


Describe ECT and how the treatment works


Identify the mental health disorders for which ECT is indicated


Identify the mental and physical conditions for which it is contraindicated


Describe adverse effects associated with ECT and how they can be minimised



excellent -- 06 Jul 2018
Good information for anyone caring for ECT patients -- 31 May 2018
Well presented and informative as usual, thank you! -- 30 May 2018
Very Good and well presented -- 23 May 2018
very good -- 22 May 2018
It's a great VLA. Thank you. -- 17 May 2018
Excellent presenter and excellent content -- 08 May 2018
A fantastic resource for somebody with no experience in this field like myself!! -- 26 Apr 2018
very informative -- 19 Apr 2018
The Presentation was clear and informative. I would thoroughly recommend this unit to my work colleagues. -- 17 Apr 2018
Thank you for the knowledge in this VLA. It was extremely helpful and I will be back for more VLA's -- 14 Mar 2018
well presented,and articulated -- 23 Dec 2017

Course Overview

Topics include:

  • The origin of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT)
  • Electrode placement
  • Indications and contraindications
  • Minimising adverse effects

Target audience

Nurses and other health professionals caring for people who are undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).


Enhance knowledge of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) as a treatment for some types of mental health conditions.


Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that is commonly used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, namely, clinical depression, mania and psychosis. Nurses have cared for people undergoing ECT since its inception, and an important part of their care is the provision of information and psychological support. People receiving ECT and their carers may seek explanation and reassurance from nurses regarding their treatment. In order to provide sufficient information and support, healthcare professionals must understand what ECT is and why it is used – there is a need to be able to answer the questions of people undergoing ECT and their carers over the course of their treatment.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.