Brief cognitive screening instruments for electroconvulsive therapy: Which one should I use?

Donel M. Martin, Shawn M. McClintock, Colleen K. Loo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: To review brief cognitive screening instruments for routine clinical monitoring in electroconvulsive therapy. Methods: Brief cognitive screening instruments specifically developed for electroconvulsive therapy and commonly used brief generalised cognitive screening instruments were reviewed with relative advantages and disadvantages highlighted. Results: Several brief cognitive screening tests designed for use in electroconvulsive therapy have been found sensitive for monitoring electroconvulsive therapy–related cognitive side effects. The choice of a brief generalised cognitive screening instrument for use in an electroconvulsive therapy clinical context comes with several pertinent considerations. Conclusion: Electroconvulsive therapy is a highly effective treatment for pharmacoresistant and severe neuropsychiatric illness although cognitive side effects can be a barrier for treatment. Routine monitoring using brief cognitive screening instruments has advantages in busy clinical settings and can assist with optimising patient outcomes. More detailed neuropsychological assessment is recommended if the results from brief cognitive screening raise concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-873
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • cognition
  • memory
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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