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Continuation Electroconvulsive Therapy (C-ECT) for Relapse Prevention in Major Depression

Information source: Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Depression

Intervention: C-ECT (Device); PHARMACOTHERAPY (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Terminated

Sponsored by: Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Mikel Urretavizcaya Sarachaga, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, IDIBELL
Èrika Martínez Amorós, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Corporacion Parc Tauli


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the comparative efficacy and security of Continuation Electroconvulsive Therapy associated with pharmacotherapy versus pharmacotherapy alone in the prevention of depressive relapse. METHODS: Demographic and clinical variables will be collected and side effects scales and neurocognitive battery will be performed. Variables of efficacy: relapse percentage in both groups in one year (primary variable); time without relapse. Main variable of security: occurrence of side effects and neurocognitive performance. DESIGN: Randomized controlled clinical trial. SAMPLE: 104 outpatients diagnosed with unipolar depression (DSM-IV-R criteria) who had remitted with a course of bilateral ECT. They will be randomized to two groups of treatment. SETTING: Psychiatry Department at Bellvitge University Hospital. ANALYSIS: Descriptive analysis of clinical variables; survive analysis and Cox model of regression.

Clinical Details

Official title: Continuation Electroconvulsive Therapy Associated With Pharmacotherapy Versus Pharmacotherapy Alone for Relapse Prevention in Major Depression. A Clinical, Controlled, Prospective and Randomized Trial

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention

Primary outcome: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale 21 items (HDRS-21)

Secondary outcome:

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE 35)

UKU - Adverse effects rating scales

Demographical Data Memory (MEDABI-20)

Rey Figure

Trail Making Test A

Trail Making Test B

Stroop Test

Direct and inverse digits (WAIS, Weschler Adults Intelligence Sacle).

Vocabulary WAIS (Weschler Adults Intelligence Scale)

Frequency Hospitalization Quotient

Hospital Day Quotient (HDQ)

Detailed description: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a severe psychiatric disorder that affects more than 6 million people in our country and has a life prevalence of 8. 9% for men and 16. 5% for women (Haro et al, 2007). Besides, in recent decades, its incidence is increasing (Kessler et al, 2004). MDD has high recurrence rates and 25% of the cases develop chronification. Moreover it can occur at any age leading to severe disability. The majority of studies published in this field demonstrated the efficacy of antidepressant treatment in a short or medium-term basis, but there is a lack of long-term clinical trials regarding antidepressant efficacy and published ones present methodological problems. At present, a line of fundamental research in therapeutics includes pragmatic studies because they can answer crucial and specific questions in clinical practice. Therefore, the aim of this project is to conduct a pragmatic, parallel, randomized trial with 2 treatment arms to answer a key question of great interest to psychiatrists: Is it more effective to extend the use of ECT as maintenance therapy (together with drug therapy) rather than just using drug therapy in patients that previously required an acute ECT course for a depressive episode? This study is a controlled randomized clinical trial that starts after the remission of the acute depressive episode. Once patients have clinically remitted they will be randomized in two groups: 1. C-ECT together with pharmacotherapy (same treatment used in the acute episode). 2. Maintenance pharmacotherapy treatment (same treatment used in the acute episode). Consolidation treatment with ECT will be considered finished after 9 months of being started, at which time patients will stay only on the pharmacological treatment they already had. The study will be completed within 15 months of patient inclusion (six months after the end of C-ECT). Patient assessment and follow-up will be conducted by participant researchers. Blind rater will conduct clinical and adverse effects ratings. A neuropsychologist will conduct neuropsychological assessments.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- MDD diagnosis by DSM IV-TR.

- ECT requirement during acute episode. Therapeutic indication will be based on

clinical criteria, following APA guidelines. During the acute episode, patients will be controlled by the usual clinical care team.

- Complete clinical remission (HDRS < or = 7 across two weeks).

- Appropriate intellectual level that allows adequate communication.

- Women of childbearing potential must use contraceptive methods.

- Signed Consent form.

- Other axis I or II diagnosis by DSM-IV-TR, except for nicotine dependence.

- To be in maintenance ECT program.

- To receive ECT during the previous three months of the acute episode.

- Pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Other axis I or II diagnosis by DSM-IV-TR, except for nicotine dependence.

- To be in maintenance ECT program.

- To receive ECT during the previous three months of the acute episode.

- Pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Locations and Contacts

Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, IDIBELL, Barcelona 08907, Spain

Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona 08907, Spain

Corporació Sanitària Parc Tauli, Sabadell, Barcelona 08208, Spain

Additional Information

Starting date: July 2009
Last updated: August 19, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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