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Disparities in Receipt of ECT in Depressed Elderly

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2018 Nov 29; Jones, et al

A recent national cross-sectional study of racial/ethnic disparities in receipt of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) among depressed elderly patients confirms prior studies and reveals the potential worsening of disparities for non-Hispanic (NH)-blacks. Researchers used survey-weighted log-binomial regression to generate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) that represented the associations between race/ethnicity and receipt of ECT during hospitalization at an ECT-available hospital. They used data from the 2002-2015 National Inpatient Sample (n=685,939) and the analysis was restricted to hospitalizations of adults aged 65-95 with depression as a principal diagnostic code. They found:

  • Among total patients included in the analysis, 45% received care at an ECT-available hospital, and among those, 17% received ECT.
  • NH-blacks were nearly half as likely to receive ECT as NH-whites (aPR=0.56).
  • Hispanics were nearly half as likely to receive ECT as NH-whites (aPR=0.57).

Jones KC, Salemi JL, Dongarwar D, et al. Racial/ethnic disparities in receipt of electroconvulsive therapy for elderly patients with a principal diagnosis of depression in inpatient settings. [Published online ahead of print November 29, 2018]. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1016/j.jagp.2018.11.007.

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