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This study builds upon extensive research on Electroconvulsive Therapy’s (ECT) effectiveness and advancements over time while providing insight into its continuous stigmatization as a psychotherapeutic treatment. The literature provided in this paper explores ECT’s historical background and its misrepresentations in society commonly perpetuated in the media. To further examine present day perceptions of ECT, this study evaluated Bard College undergraduate students’ (n = 24) knowledge, attitudes, and stigmas towards ECT. The data was collected using a five part questionnaire concerning the socio-demographic of participants (part 1), stigmas about ECT (part 2), knowledge about ECT (part 3), sources of knowledge of ECT (part 4), and attitudes towards ECT (part 5). Findings illustrate that students with more stigmatized beliefs had more negative attitudes towards ECT. Students studying in the Science, Math, & Computing (SMC) Department had significantly more positive attitudes towards ECT than students studying in the Social Studies (SS) Department. Where students learned or heard of ECT, specifically ‘Internet’ and ‘Non-medical Books’, impacted both knowledge and attitude rates. Students who learned about ECT from three or more sources of knowledge had more positive attitudes and lower stigmatized beliefs towards ECT than students who had two or less sources of knowledge. This study contributes to research which aims to provide a more balanced depiction of ECT and should inspire continued exploration in this domain.
Keywords: ECT, stigmas, knowledge, attitudes, sources of knowledge
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Brown, Madison Anne, "Myths and Fables of Electroconvulsive Therapy: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Stigmas of ECT in College Students" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 177.
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