Electroconvulsive therapy in the Netherlands: the practice in 2015 compared to that in 2008
background The most recent information about the use of ect in the Netherlands dates from 2008. An update version of the guideline for the use of ect in the Netherlands was issued in 2010.
aim To obtain insight into the practice of ect in the Netherlands five years after implementation of the guideline.
method Our study is based on a questionnaire about the use of ect by psychiatrists in all Dutch institutions (n=33). Questions concerned the use and availability of ect as well as the implementation of the updated guideline; they also served as a check on the expertise and training of ect-psychiatrists.
results All institutions responded. The total number of ect-sessions performed in 2015 was 15,633, a 16% increase compared to 2008. In 2015 more institutions were using 7x24 ect and more had an ect-nurse available. Nearly all psychiatrists were acquainted at the time with the revised guideline of 2010 and nearly 50% of them had adjusted the way they practised ect. However, just under 40% of psychiatrists did not have the correct knowledge about some technical details regarding ect.
conclusion The revised guideline on ect and its implementation have most likely improved the practice of ect in the Netherlands.