6.1 The Committee recognised the difficulties in conducting research on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for depression, in the context of the variable natural history of depression, the challenges of providing sham treatment, and a variable and often small response. Despite large numbers of patients in the published studies, there were difficulties in assessing the effect size. Nevertheless, the Committee noted consistently positive outcomes in many studies and a good safety profile. These considerations underpinned the recommendations in sections 1.1 and 1.2.
6.2 The Committee was advised that the procedure may not be appropriate for treating some kinds of depression and that patient selection is therefore most important.
6.3 The Committee noted that commentary from patients was positive and described significant benefits to their quality of life, including the advantages, for some patients, of being able to stop the use of oral antidepressant medications.
6.4 The Committee was informed that the technology is evolving.