Patients who exaggerate, feign, or induce physical illness are a great challenge to their physicians. Trained to trust their patients’ self-reports, even competent and conscientious physicians can fall victim to these deceptions.
Impulsivity and compulsivity are natural behaviors controlled by brain mechanisms that are essential for survival in all species. Understanding these brain mechanisms may lead to targeted treatment strategies for these symptom domains when impulsivity and compulsivity become dysfunctional.
Prognostication is a major part of what physicians do in many fields of medicine, and it is particularly relevant when a treatment or procedure is controversial or anxiety-provoking. Being able to accurately tell a prospective ECT patient how likely he or she is to respond would be helpful.