In 2014-15, the Commission contracted the University of New South Wales to develop a network of hospitals that conduct electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), to contribute to a world-first clinical database with potential to identify the safest and most effective approaches to ECT, and to train clinicians in their use. The Clinical Alliance and Research in ECT (CARE) network conducts research into the relationship between different modes and doses of ECT and consumer responses. Thirty-two Australian hospitals participate, including 17 in NSW, and 75 NSW clinicians have been trained in cognitive testing for ECT consumers. Benchmarking has confirmed that ECT is effective and results in a substantial improvement in quality of life, but also that there is considerable clinical variation in ECT practice and outcomes. By improving data collection and analysis there is real potential for the CARE network, which has expanded to hospitals in Singapore, Spain and Belgium, to further improve clinical services and reduce variation in clinical practice.

Living Well Action 5.3.5

Last updated: 24 July 2017