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Antidepressant Medication Treatment Failure Does Not Predict Lower Remission With ECT for Major Depressive Disorder: A Report From the Consortium for Research in Electroconvulsive Therapy.

J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68:1701-1706

Objective: To test whether antidepressant medication treatment failure predicts differential remission with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in nonpsychotic unipolar depression.

Method: Depressed patients diagnosed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV receiving ECT were assessed for medication use with the Antidepressant Treatment History Form (ATHF) (N = 345). Response to ECT was assessed with the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Baseline medication treatment failure was analyzed as a possible predictor of remission status. Dates of study enrollment were from May 1997 to July 2004.

Results: Resistance to antidepressant medication as assessed by the ATHF, either taken as a whole or for any individual class of medication, was not predictive of acute remission status with ECT.

Conclusion: Treatment failure with antidepressant medication does not predict acute remission status with ECT for nonpsychotically depressed patients.