Demo Chapter – Non-Pharmacological Treatments Copy

Non-Pharmacological Treatments (4, 5, 6)


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

  • Most effective treatment for catatonia. (4)
  • Probability of success is high, even in malignant catatonia.
  • Especially indicated if pharmacologic treatment does not work.
    • It is generally a second-line treatment given if Benzodiazepines or other pharmacological treatments don’t work.
  • ECT is safe and effective.
    • ECT is effective in up to 89% of patients with malignant catatonia (versus 40% with lorazepam only) and 85% of all types of catatonia.
    • There are no absolute contraindications to receiving ECT but cardiac and/or medical consultation can be sought prior to ECT treatment for patients who have been immobilized for a long period of time.
  • Frequency of administration.
    • Daily ECT sessions for up to one week.
    • In some cases only a few sessions are needed for full effect.
  • Bilateral ECT is preferred to unilateral ECT for full efficacy.