We measured the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) over 3 months in England in 2006 and compared that with studies from 1999 and 2002. Questionnaires were completed by hospital ECT staff and returned by post with data collected prospectively on ECT use from National Health Service organisations.
Two-thirds (56 of 76) of the trusts providing ECT at 109 clinics responded. the number of clinics providing ECT and the number of patients receiving ECT has declined. There has been an increase in the proportion of people receiving ECT when detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
The number of ECT clinics is likely to continue to decrease and psychiatrists may have decreasing experience of treating patients with ECT.
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