ECT still key in treating mental illness

Use of ECT has declined but the procedure continues to be used in “significant numbers” — mainly for young women with depression, Australian research shows.

A review of ECT in Victoria over a decade has provided a rare window into how the treatment is used in inpatient and outpatient settings, and how these patterns are changing.

Overall, usage declined steadily from 1998 to 2005, then rose slightly again up to 2007. A total of 1518 patients received ECT in Victoria in 2007 — 950