BACKGROUND: Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) has been used less frequently in Norway than in Denmark and Sweden. The aim of this investigation was to study the use of ECT in female and male patients in different age-groups in the Ullevaal region of Oslo from 1988 to 2002, and to compare the results with studies in Denmark and Sweden. METHOD: The protocols of ECT treatments in three clinical departments serving the Ullevaal region and relevant population data were used to calculate the annual number of ECT courses per age- and gender-specified population groups of 100,000. RESULTS: Use of ECT increased progressively from 2.3 to about 20 patients per 100,000 per year (p or = 70 years the rate of ECT was only 1.5 times higher than in men. INTERPRETATION: The study confirms increased use of ECT in the Ullevaal region after 1988. The use of ECT in this region approached the decreased use in Denmark and Stockholm. The increased use occurred particularly in patients above 70 years.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Jun 22;126(13):172816794661