Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

May 19, 2021

Activity description

For over 75 years, ECT has been shown to have a high success rate in the treatment of severe mood disorders. Despite this, the utilization of ECT in treatment has decreased for many reasons, including the emergence of antidepressants, negative public perceptions due to inaccurate media portrayals, and increased stigma surrounding its use, and many patients who are potentially appropriate candidates may not be receiving this effective treatment. Therefore, it is important that health care providers (HCPs) continue to be provided with current and accurate data surrounding ECT, enabling them to offer patients this effective therapeutic option that, due to continued advancements, can be implemented to facilitate increased treatment adherence and outcomes with a low profile of experienced cognitive side effects.

This activity will review current ECT data regarding indications, risks, benefits, side effects, and outcomes for both general patient populations and special populations, such as the elderly and pregnant women. It will provide an overview of the recent advances that have enhanced ECT treatment outcomes and compare this therapy with other existing and experimental brain-stimulation modalities, including transcranial magnetic stimulation. In addition, the influence of public perception of ECT on its selection as treatment will be examined, as well as current data surrounding cognitive side effects—with a focus on the types of amnesia associated with ECT—and how HCPs can effectively measure these in their patients.

Provided by
This activity is provided by OptumHealth Education and Optum Behavioral Health.

Commercial support
There was no commercial support received for this activity.
Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and therapists who are interested in learning about pertinent topics in behavioral health, including current trends, concerns, data, and influencing factors surrounding mental health outcomes.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the indications, risks, benefits, and side effects of ECT for both general patient populations and special patient populations (including the elderly, children and adolescents, and pregnant patients).
  • Identify the processes and procedures for ECT, including recent advances in its administration.
  • Discuss the differences between retrograde and anterograde amnesia and how they are measured.
  • Recognize the current public perception of ECT and its influence on selection of ECT as a treatment choice.
  • Define the concept and history of ECT and other brain-stimulation modalities, with an emphasis on the differences and similarities between ECT and these modalities (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, deep-brain stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy, transcranial direct-current stimulation, and experimental modalities).

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 
Event starts: 
05/19/2021 - 12:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
05/19/2021 - 1:00pm EDT


Robert M. Berman, MD, PhD, MBA
NY Behavioral Health Medical Director
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

Activity planners

Elizabeth V. Albert, MD 
Clinical Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

LaRhonda Jones, MD
ECS-Senior Behavioral Medical Director – Central Region

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

Accreditation statement
Joint Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and Optum Behavioral Health. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit designation statements

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

OptumHealth Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program. 1.00 CE hour.

Social workers
ACE LogoAs a Jointly Accredited Organization, OptumHealth Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 live continuing education credits.

Counselors and/or marriage and family therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 ASWB - Social Workers
Please log in to register.

Activity date/time: This live activity will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT (12-1 pm ET; 10-11 am MT; 9-10 am PT).

WebEx link for Wednesday, May 19, 2021: https://optum.webex.com/optum/j.php?MTID=mc7261cd21ba1b52b21d09d42caa7a15e

  • Meeting number (access code): 185 010 4302
  • Meeting password: tVp24uipX3$

YOUR PHONE LINE WILL BE MUTED UPON YOUR ENTRY INTO THE WEBEX. Please keep your phone muted throughout the activity. 

Q&A: If you would like to ask the speaker a question during the live activity, please write your question in the WebEx chat box and select "Everyone" prior to pressing send.

Please allow yourself enough time to test your computer before the start of the activity.

Fees: There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this activity.

Questions: Email moreinfo@optumhealtheducation.com