The report says use of the most extreme treatments for mental disorder continue to show significant gender differences, with 'a much higher proportion of women' than men referred for electroconvulsive therapy.

Among patients referred for a second opinion regarding treatment, 44 per cent of female patients were referred for ECT, compared with 16 per cent of male patients. The report shows a continued decline in the use of neurosurgery for mental disorder, with 30 patients referred between 1995 and 1997 compared with 17 since. Of these, 14 were women.