Background: Patterns of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) use have recently been extensively surveyed in Central-Eastern Europe. However, data from post-USSR countries are limited.
Objective: This study aimed to survey ECT practice in Ukraine.
Methods: All psychiatric services in Ukraine were identified and contacted to obtain information on the use of ECT in 2011 using a 22-item questionnaire.
Results: Of the 146 psychiatric inpatient facilities, only 5 confirmed that they performed ECT in 2011. Three other services also performed ECT but refused to provide further information. In the only private psychiatric institute where ECT was offered, 14.28% of inpatients received this treatment in 2011, whereas the corresponding figure in the 6 public psychiatric facilities was a mere 0.4%. Three centers used unmodified ECT, and only 2 centers had equipment that monitored electroencephalogram. In 7 services, in line with international recommendations, affective disorders were the first indications for ECT in Ukraine, whereas uncommon indications such as anorexia or Parkinsonism were also reported.
Conclusions: This was the first survey of ECT practice conducted in Ukraine. The provision of ECT in only 8 centers is clearly insufficient for a large country such as Ukraine, which is reflected in the low rate of inpatients treated with ECT. The very limited availability of this effective treatment modality should be addressed by the Ukrainian health authorities.