Improving access to psychological therapy: Initial evaluation of two UK demonstration sites
Behaviour Research and Therapy
Recently the UK Government announced an unprecedented, large-scale initiative for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for depression and anxiety disorders. Prior to this development, the Department of Health established two pilot projects that aimed to collect valuable information to inform the national roll-out. Doncaster and Newham received additional funds to rapidly increase the availability of CBT-related interventions and to deploy them in new clinical services, operating on stepped-care principles, when appropriate. This article reports an evaluation of the new services (termed ‘demonstration sites’) during their first thirteen months of operation. A session-by-session outcome monitoring system achieved unusually high levels of pre to post-treatment data completeness. Large numbers of patients were treated, with low-intensity interventions (such as guided self-help) being particularly helpful for achieving high throughput. Clinical outcomes were broadly in line with expectation. 55–56% of patients who had attended at least twice (including the assessment interview) were classified as recovered when they left the services and 5% had improved their employment status. Treatment gains were largely maintained at 10 month follow-up. Opening the services to self-referral appeared to facilitate access for some groups that tend to be underrepresented in general practice referrals. Outcomes were comparable for the different ethnic groups who access the services. Issues for the further development of IAPT are discussed.
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier. NOTICE: This is the author’s version of a work accepted for publication by Elsevier. Changes resulting from the publishing process, including peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting and other quality control mechanisms, may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2009, Vol. 47, Issue 11, pp. 910 – 920 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2009.07.010
Vol. 47 (11), pp. 910 - 920