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J ECT. 2012 Mar;28(1):24-6. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e318223834e.

Electroconvulsive therapy and ethnicity.

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  • 1Memorial Hospital, London, UK.


Studies on ECT and race show that ECT clinics treat predominantly white patients. It has been suggested that certain ethnic groups are less likely to receive a diagnosis of an affective disorder and are therefore less likely to be referred to the ECT clinic. In the United States, inequalities in access to health care between the different ethnic groups may be a contributory factor. In the United Kingdom, there is a mistaken predominant perception that ECT is given mainly to members of ethnic minorities; instead, there is a need to ensure that nonwhites have equal access to this effective treatment.

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