You may notice that there aren't many statistics here, especially from the USA. Sadly, this is because statistics are only kept in a few states. There is no federal reporting system, and nearly all 50 states don't require record keeping either. Dentistry is more regulated than ECT!!! This is one reason that the research on ECT is so shoddy, and at the very least, hospitals should be required to report the numbers to a federal agency. Please take the time to write your legislators and the FDA and ask that a new law be enacted to require federal reporting. Both the American Psychiatric Association and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill are on record saying they oppose reporting. The only reason I can think of is that they're afraid it will reveal some truths they do not want made public. What reason would *anyone* have to not want to know the actual number of ECTs being performed each year?
New stats from New York
FORTY PERCENT of ECT patients (excluding those in Harold Sackeim's research studies) in the state of New York receive ECT under court orders, according to this new survey released by the state. At one hospital in Manhattan, that rate is seventy percent! This is unacceptable.
California is one of the few states that requires data collection regarding ECT. Here are statistics from 1989-1994 from the California Department of Mental Health. The APA says that only 1 in 200 have memory loss. The data says it's a little higher...40 TIMES higher!
Stats from Canada
Some interesting statistics on ECT from Quebec Science.
The Salford Report on ECT
From the United Kingdom, a massive report on the use of ECT across the UK, with numerous statistics on its use by gender, ethnic group, age, voluntary status, and so on. Warning: This is an enormous report. Or, just read the section dealing with ECT patient attitudes. Now available, the full study in PDF format (you need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view this).
Also from the UK, raw stats about the use of ECT in 1999. These figures, from the UK Department of Health, show that more than half of detained patients did not consent to ECT treatments. There are a few other stats here as well, from 1999. (January through March) A more detailed analysis is at http://www.doh.gov.uk/pub/docs/doh/ect_bull99.pdf (PDF format)
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): Statistical Highlights, Ontario, 1995-2001. Don Weitz has compiled excellent stats from Ontario on the use of ECT.
The mental health charity Mind has published a new, extensive report on the use of ECT in the UK. Among the findings: nearly 18 percent of those receiving ECT during a three-month period in 1999 did so without providing consent. One of Mind's recommendations is to eliminate the use of forced ECT.
Mind report on ECT
ECT in Scotland
This report from Scotland contains statistics and more.
Alex Doherty has written to Richard Norris of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). In the letter, Doherty comments on the publication "ECT in Scotland."
Much statistical information and information about policy and procedure at New York State operated psychiatric centers is now available on-line as part of a Commission for Quality of Care report.
Says one observer, "I think it is a shame that the people at the CQC, who are in the enviable position of enjoying an unfettered access to psychiatric center records, have taken so little care that the report has been posted with a dozen occurrences of the use of the acronym "ETC" rather than "ECT" to refer to electroshock."
Debate still rages...
But ECT has made a comeback, mostly in the treatment of depression related symptoms. In 1997 Ontario doctors billed OHIP for 12,400 treatments. That is a jump from the 1993-94 figure of 9,506. Patients usually receive two to three treatments per week for two to four weeks.
You may find other statistics in stories here, although they are not raw stats.