IAPT Out Of Its’ Depth

a just published paper in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology by Martin et al concludes:

‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies provision and research at present does not adequately consider the complexity of its clientele in the context of treatment outcomes and service delivery’

The authors suggest that practitioners bear the following in mind:

  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) has significantly increased access to psychological therapies within primary care over the last decade, though it is unclear whether its interventions are sufficiently tailored to meet the actual levels of complexity of its clientele and prevent them from needing onward referral to secondary care as originally envisaged.
  • Given the ongoing focus on and investment in IAPT informed developments into long-term conditions and serious mental illness, this review considers whether additional elucidation of the model’s original objectives is required, as a precursor to its expansion into other clinical areas.
  • The review indicates that there is a stark lack of data pertaining to the generalisable, real-world clinical benefits of the IAPT programme as it currently stands.
  • Recommendations are provided for future areas of research, and practice enhancements to ensure the value of IAPT services to clients in the wider context of NHS mental health services, including the interface with secondary care, are considered.

I did throw IAPT a lifebelt with my paper ‘Ensuring IAPT Does What It Say On The Tin’ published in the BJCP  in
March 2021 but the rebuttal from Kellett et al in the same issue of the Journal
DOI:10.1111/bjc.12268 suggests that  my comments fell on deaf ears.

Dr Mike Scott 

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