A new study in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry has found repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is less expensive and produces better mental health outcomes than Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
rTMS (also referred to simply as TMS) is a non-invasive and medication-free treatment method for people with Depression. rTMS has minimal side-effects and is more comfortable for patients than ECT as it can be conducted in outpatient settings.
The analysis showed that using rTMS as the first option for patients with treatment-resistant Depression would save USD 46,094 per patient over a lifetime compared to ECT.
The authors of the study concluded rTMS as a first line treatment for Depression is more cost effective than ECT long-term, as its lower side effect profile and greater patient acceptability allow it to be administered more times than ECT in a patient’s lifetime.
Whereas previous analyses comparing both methods have been restricted to 6-24 months and have not considered indirect costs, this study simulates both direct and indirect costs along with the health benefits of patients over their lifetime. In this model rTMS was also used across all treatment–resistant Depression patients, and patients who did not respond to rTMS were then treated with ECT.
“It’s great to see progressive discussions around the use of rTMS as a first line treatment of depression,” said Dr Trevor Brown, rTMS Trainer & Head Neuroscientist at neuroCare Group Austalia, “We see a lot more interest from Psychiatrists wanting to seek professional training in rTMS”.
Therapists at neuroCare use an approach which combines rTMS and Psychotherapy, scientifically proven to be more effective than either therapy alone for people with Depression who have not responded to other therapies.