The NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme provides access to psychotherapy in England through a stepped care approach for adults with depression and anxiety disorders. This evaluation sought to investigate IAPT recovery and reliable change rates of those who scored severe on depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7) or impaired functioning (WASA). The paper aims to discuss this issue.
This evaluation employed a within groups design: a single case evaluation follow-up. Routine service data (from services set-up in 2008-2009 to February 2012) from 25,034 patients treated at four IAPT services was analysed.
The analysis revealed that 29 per cent (n=7,059) of patients were assessed as being in the WASA severe range, 41 per cent (n=10,208) in the PHQ severe range, and 57 per cent (n=14,612) in the GAD-7 severe range; with 14 per cent (n=3,548) in the severe range on all three measures combined. There were significant falls on all three measures and a large effect size. The percentage of patients who recovered to a point below the recovery threshold was 30 per cent for depression, 34 per cent for anxiety, 18 per cent for impaired functioning, and for those presenting severe on all measures: recovery rates were 21 per cent for anxiety, 26 per cent for depression, and 15 per cent for impaired functioning. Reliable change for anxiety was found to be greater than IAPT patients overall.
The results show that IAPT enables approximately a third of people scoring severe to recover, lower than IAPT recovery rates overall. Reliable change may be a more effective measure of patient progress.
Griffiths, C.A. and Griffiths, L.J. (2015), "Recovery and reliable change rates for patients scoring severe on depression, anxiety or impaired functioning in a psychological therapies service: IAPT", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 28-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-06-2014-0022
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