Electroconvulsive Treatment Utilization for the Inpatient Management of Severe Manic Episodes of Bipolar Disorder

Rikinkumar S. Patel, Shailesh Bobby Jain, Nagy A. Youssef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective Main objectives of the study are to (1) describe the utilization of electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) for the treatment of manic episodes (ME) and (2) examine the effect of early inpatient use of ECT (within 7 days of admission) compared with delayed use on length of stay and cost of inpatient care. Method The total sample of 14,005 inpatients with a principal diagnosis of bipolar disorder, ME (2012-2014), from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project were analyzed using univariate and logistic regressions. This represented data from 4411 hospitals from 45 states in the United States. Results The rate of ECT use was higher in young adults (<50 years), female patients, and whites from high-income families. Electroconvulsive treatment was preferred more in private, nonprofit, urban, and teaching hospitals. The percentages of overall hospitals where ECT was administered for mania by region were as follows: 22% in the Northeast, 23% in Midwest. 17% in the South, and 10% in the West. Approximately half (55.3%) of patients received initial ECT session within the first 7 days (median) after admission. Early ECT was associated with significantly shorter (-14.7 days) and less costly (-$41,976) inpatient care per patient. Conclusions Patients treated with ECT are generally sicker and more treatment resistant. However, ECT should not be considered only as a "last resort" in the treatment algorithm. Inpatient ECT for patients with MEs if initiated during the first 7 days of hospitalization reduces length of stay and cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bipolar disorder
  • cost
  • ECT
  • electroconvulsive treatment
  • inpatients
  • length of stay
  • mania


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