British nurses’ attitudes to electroconvulsive therapy, 1945 – 2000

Adams, John (2015) British nurses’ attitudes to electroconvulsive therapy, 1945 – 2000. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71 (10). pp. 2393-2401. ISSN 1365-2648

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Aim. The aim of the study was to collect and analyse historical material on nurses’ attitudes to electroconvulsive therapy in Britain between 1945–2000. Background. Electroconvulsive therapy became widely used in Britain from the late 1940s onwards and remains in current use, but became one of the main targets of the ‘antipsychiatry’ movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Design. A cultural history design was used to recreate the perspectives of mental health nurses in the period under review. Method. A range of primary sources including journal articles, textbooks and oral history sources were combined to create a coherent historical account. Findings. The controversy surrounding electroconvulsive therapy created a deep-seated ambivalence towards it among mental health nurses. While a sizeable minority were critical of its use and may have taken steps to avoid involvement with it, most acquiesced in providing the treatment. Recorded incidents of outright refusal to participate are few. Conclusion. Mental health nurses’ views on electroconvulsive therapy are reflective of the profession’s growing knowledge of the use of evidence in debating whether particular therapies should be used

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: electroconvulsive therapy, mental health nursing, nursing history
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 12:42
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 14:25

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