It’s been a while since I perused the Scottish ECT Accreditation Network (SEAN) website so I’ve just had a quick look through to see what’s going down, in terms of involuntary shock treatment, the user reference group and what the statistics might be saying.
Although the latter doesn’t really tell us anything about what the people who get ECT feel like. There has been no service user controlled/led ECT research undertaken in Scotland. And the SEAN figures are based on assessments done by the treating doctors. It is not any sort of independent, controlled assessment of the usefulness of this treatment.
The SEAN 2013 annual report summary says that in 2012 there were 360 patients getting ECT, most of them with a depression diagnosis, 61% of these found anti-depressants to be of no use (like me) and 32% got it without consenting to it. Which means involuntary or against their will.
Of the people who agreed to have it (and some may have been persuaded, as in if you don’t take treatment then you’ll have to stay longer in hospital, as I heard an older female patient about my age say in an acute ward last year) 43% didn’t show a definite improvement. Which is nearly half of the folk getting it. Nearly a third got headaches. Five had critical incidents.
I’m not seeing anything in the summary about ratios of women to men getting ECT so will check out the full report. Ah yes, now I see it, 65% women to 35% men getting it. As usual it says that this equates to the ratios of women to men being treated for depressive illness. (you can see why men don’t want to see their GP if they are in a low mood). And the mean age is 58 for both sexes.
Checking out the SEAN reference group page on the website, service user and carer section, and it is blank. Obviously nothing to report there then.
More anon ….