A Survey of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Finland

Petri Sumia, Niko Seppälä, Jukka Ritschkoff, Tarja Tammentie-Sarèn, Esa Leinonen, Kaija Järventausta

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to explore the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in Finland in 2013. This included the rate of use, patient ages, sex, number of treatments, patient diagnoses, regional distribution, and availability of ECT. METHODS: A structured electronic questionnaire was used to collect data regarding the use of ECT from 21 Finnish hospital districts' 29 psychiatric ECT units. Data for comparison were collected from scientific publications concerning the use of ECT in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Estonia. RESULTS: Of 29 psychiatric ECT units, 25 (86%) responded. Electroconvulsive therapy was available in all except 1 hospital district, which used the services of another hospital district. Electroconvulsive therapy was administered to 1023 patients in total. The mean number of treatments per patient was 9.7. Twenty-three persons per 100,000 inhabitants received ECT. The ECT rate between hospital districts varied from 7.5 to 53.0 per 100,000 inhabitants. The mean number and median were 24.9 and 21.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively. Maintenance therapy was administered to 27.1% of patients. Most (75%) of the ECT units indicated the capability to administer ECT to all patients who required it. The most common indications for ECT were major depression (38.4%), psychotic depression (30.9%), and bipolar disorder with depressive episodes (14.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Electroconvulsive therapy was available in every hospital district in Finland. In Finland, ECT was administered at approximately the same level as in Norway, Denmark, and Estonia (24, 32, and 28 per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively), but less than in Sweden (41 per 100,000 inhabitants).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36-39
    Number of pages4
    JournalThe journal of ECT
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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