Challenging stigma and attitudes towards ECT via an educational video

Shanthi Sarma, Besalat Hussain, Titta Gigante, Angela Davies, Rebecca Watson, Grace Branjerdporn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


While electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective therapeutic modality for the treatment of mental illness, negative attitudes and stigma exist about ECT in the general community and even within health services. Investigating interventions that improve the attitudes of health professionals towards ECT is beneficial as this reduces stigma and increases the acceptability of ECT for consumers. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the change in attitude of nursing graduates and medical students towards ECT by watching an educational video. The secondary aim was to compare health professional attitudes to those of the general community. An educational video was co-designed with consumers and members of the mental health Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Team about ECT outlining the procedure, side effects, treatment considerations and lived experiences. Nursing graduates and medical students completed the ECT Attitude Questionnaire (EAQ) prior to and after watching the video. Descriptive statistics, paired samples t-tests and one sample t-tests were completed. One hundred and twenty-four participants completed pre- and post- questionnaires. Attitudes towards ECT significantly improved after watching the video. Positive responses towards ECT increased from 67.09% to 75.72%. Participants in this study reported higher positive attitudes towards ECT than members of the general public before and after watching the intervention. Results indicated that the video educational intervention was effective in improving attitudes towards ECT for nursing graduates and medical students. While the video is promising as an educational tool, further research is required to explore the use of the video in reducing stigma for consumers and carers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-892
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


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