We’ve discussed facility, time, and experience, now to review one last factor to consider when choosing a TMS provider. The success rate of the treatment and the availability of treatment data are very important. Ask these questions when looking at your provider options.
Has the MD collected their own data and had publication of their own success rates? Is the information readily available for you to see?
Since the beginning we have asked patients to complete scales to monitor their mood not only upon completion of TMS treatment but also long after. We were one of 42 sites that participated in a TMS study looking at the acute and long term efficacy of TMS. These results were published in Depression Anxiety Journal, TMS for Major Depression: A Multisite, Naturalistic, Observational Study of Acute Treatment of Outcomes in Clinical Practice with Dr. Linda Carpenter as lead author in 2012. This was followed by Journal of Clinical Psychiatry publishing, A Multisite, Observational Study of TMS for Patients with a Pharmacoresistant Major Depression: Durability of Benefit Over a One-Year Follow-Up Period, with lead author Dr. David Dunner in 2014. We have also presented our outcomes utilizing TMS in the treatment of Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder with poster presentations at the annual CTMSS meetings and American Psychiatric Association Meetings. These poster presentations were featured in Brain Stimulation journal.
Are there patients of the TMS provider willing to talk to you and recount their own TMS experience? Are the testimonials given specific to that clinic and not generic to TMS?We describe our goal as helping individuals to take charge of their life rather than their illness continuing to take charge of them. We feel extremely blessed that some of our patients have been willing to share their story about their struggles with mental illness as well as their journey thru TMS treatment to help take back charge of their life. Some of our patients have shared their story thru video or written testimony. Some are also more than happy to talk to someone considering starting TMS treatment. Even though TMS was FDA cleared for the treatment of Major Depression in 2008, TMS is often not considered the next step to treating. Most individuals are accustomed to their doctor prescribing another medication, despite limited response from medications and/or struggles with medication side effects. I would always ask the question, “Why do we expect different results from another medication trial if we continue to have limited benefit from medications?”. TMS needs to be considered as a treatment option earlier.
If you are in the process of choosing a TMS provider, we hope that these questions and answers will help you in your search. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us for more information.