Patients' attitudes and attributions to electroconvulsive shock therapy

J. Randolph Hillard, Robert Folger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An attributional analysis of ECT as a placebo was investigated by comparing the attitudes of patients on two psychiatric wards. It was hypothesized that on the ward on which ECT was administered more frequently, general attitudes toward the treatment would be more favorable and more patients would express the opinion that ECT had worked well for them personally. The results, which supported the predictions, indicate that the operation of placebo effects in connection with ECT may account for differential treatment results more adequately than explanations based on physiological models. The findings also suggest that more research is needed to explore the relationship between patients' attitudes and treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-861
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1977


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