Views About Neuromodulation Interventions for Depression by Stakeholder Group, Treatment Modality, and Depression Severity

SOURCE: Comprehensive Psychiatry. 122:152365, 2023 Apr.

AUTHORS: Cabrera LY; Achtyes ED; Bluhm R; McCright AM

BACKGROUND: The past few decades have seen the emergence both of new neuromodulation treatment protocols and novel applications of standard neuromodulation interventions in psychiatry. Yet little is known about different stakeholders’ views about these interventions.

METHODS: We administered an online survey with an embedded video vignette experiment to four national samples: the general public (N = 1022), caregivers for people with depression (N = 1026), patients living with depression (N = 1050), and board-certified psychiatrists (N = 505). We randomly assigned subjects to one of eight conditions in our full factorial design: four neuromodulation interventions [electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation, or adaptive brain implants] by two depression severity levels [moderate or severe]. In this paper we present results from ANOVA and linear regression models explaining how views about these four neuromodulation interventions-as measured in five attitudinal scales (general affect, perceived influence on self, perceived benefit, perceived risk, and perceived invasiveness)-vary by (1) intervention, (2) depression severity, and/or (3) stakeholder group.

RESULTS: Our results provide evidence that psychiatrists views differ significantly in important ways from other stakeholder groups. Type of intervention also shaped participants’ attitudes, including perceptions of invasiveness, effectiveness, and safety.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the differing affective valence among stakeholders and the differences found by modality and stakeholder groups across the different scales, future targeted educational initiatives could be developed to help address key misunderstandings and misinformed perceptions.