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Electroconvulsive Therapy and Ethnicity

Euba, Rafael MRCPsych

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e318223834e

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.

From the Memorial Hospital, London, UK.

Received for publication February 27, 2011; accepted April 26, 2011.

Reprints: Rafael Euba, MRCPsych, Memorial Hospital, Shooters Hill, London SE18 3RZ, UK (e-mail:

The author did not receive financial support for this work.

Rafael Euba is a consultant responsible for ECT in Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.