Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
  Home | About Us | Editorial Board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions | Contact | Advertise | Submission | Login 
Users Online: 478 
Wide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layoutHome Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 507-515

A focus group study of Indian psychiatrists' views on electroconvulsive therapy under India's mental healthcare act 2017: 'The ground reality is different'

1 Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght University Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 NR0A, Ireland
2 Department of Psychiatry, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Ireland
3 Department of Psychiatry, KEM Hospital Research Centre, Pune, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, Academic Section, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
5 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Brendan D Kelly
Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght University Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 NR0A
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_247_19

Rights and Permissions

Background: India's Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (MHCA) greatly restricts the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in minors and bans unmodified ECT. Indian psychiatrists have raised concerns that these measures may deprive certain patients of life-saving treatment. This study describes the perspectives of Indian psychiatrists on how ECT is dealt with in the legislation. Methods: We conducted nine focus groups in three Indian states. We explored the positive and negative implications of the MHCA and discussed its implementation, especially in relation to ECT. Results: Many of the themes and concerns commonly discussed in relation to ECT in other jurisdictions are readily apparent among Indian psychiatrists, although perspectives on specific issues remain heterogeneous. The one area of near-universal agreement is Indian psychiatrists' affirmation of the effectiveness of ECT. We identified three main areas of current concern: the MHCA's ban on unmodified ECT, ECT in minors, and ECT in the acute phase. Two broad additional themes also emerged: resource limitations and the impact of nonmedical models of mental health. We identified a need for greater education about the MHCA among all stakeholders. Conclusion: Core concerns about ECT in India's new legislation relate, in part, to medical decisions apparently being taken out of the hands of psychiatrists and change being driven by theoretical perspectives that do not reflect “ground realities.” Although the MHCA offers significant opportunities, failure to resource its ambitious changes will greatly limit the use of ECT in India.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded85    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal