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Patients with depression who self-refer for transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment: exploratory qualitative study

  • Martin Clarke (a1) (a2), Sudheer Lankappa (a1) (a2), Mark Burnett (a2), Najat Khalifa (a1) (a2) and Charlotte Beer (a2)...
Abstract
Aims and method

As part of a larger clinical trial concerning the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for treatment-resistant depression, the current study aimed to examine referral emails to describe the clinical characteristics of people who self-refer and explore the reasons for self-referral for TMS treatment. We used content analysis to explore these characteristics and thematic analysis to explore the reasons for self-referral.

Results

Of the 98 referrals, 57 (58%) were for women. Depressive disorder was the most commonly cited diagnosis, followed by bipolar affective disorder. Six themes emerged from the thematic analysis: treatment resistance, side-effects of other treatments, desperation for relief, proactively seeking information, long-term illness and illness getting worse.

Clinical implications

TMS has recently been recommended in the UK for routine use in clinical practice. Therefore, the number of people who self-refer for TMS treatment is likely to increase as its availability increases.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Dr Martin Clarke (martin.clarke@nottshc.nhs.uk)
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Patients with depression who self-refer for transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment: exploratory qualitative study

  • Martin Clarke (a1) (a2), Sudheer Lankappa (a1) (a2), Mark Burnett (a2), Najat Khalifa (a1) (a2) and Charlotte Beer (a2)...
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