The response to an amobarbital interview as a predictor of therapeutic outcome in patients with catatonic mutism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Intravenous amobarbital temporarily relieves catatonic mutism. The older psychiatric literature reported that response to amobarbital is associated with eventual good therapeutic outcome, whereas nonresponse may indicate poor outcome. This study investigated the short-term outcome of 20 patients with catatonic mutism after an amobarbital interview. A blind review of the charts was conducted at the patients' discharge, and patients were rated as either having good or poor outcome. The patients who did not respond to amobarbital improved during hospitalization as often as those patients who did respond to amobarbital. We conclude that a negative amobarbital interview is an unreliable prognosticator of poor response in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-178
Number of pages5
JournalConvulsive Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this