No Reduction In the Prevalence of Mental Disorders Since IAPT

this is the conclusion of Australian researchers https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(19)30040-9/fulltext. Why then have successive Uk Governments spent £billions on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) since its’ inception 13 years ago? Given that there is no evidence that IAPT represents an added value over pre-existing IAPT services, its’ continued funding suggests vested interests hold sway. The National Audit Office (NAO) had concerns and began an investigation but stopped citing Brexit, Carillion etc. Further following a Freedom of Information request from myself I was informed that they have no intention to restart the investigation.

Curiously the Australian researchers accept at face value IAPT’s claim of a 50% recovery rate, but there has never been any publicly funded independent confirmation of this. IAPT has been left to mark its’ own homework. My own study as an independent Expert Witness to the Court, and using a standardised diagnostic interview suggested that the recovery rate is 10% [Journal of Health Psychology   https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1359105318755264].

Dr Mike Scott

One thought to “No Reduction In the Prevalence of Mental Disorders Since IAPT”

  1. This isn’t a huge surprise. I worked in primary care providing short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for many years. Most patients benefitted and some showed significant improvement. Our biggest problem at the time was that we had a limit to the number of sessions we could provide (although we did have some flexibility) and nowhere to refer patients who required longer term therapy. This wasn’t in the interest of the patients and was frustrating. Had the government invested the money they have spent on IAPT in the service that was already functioning we would be in a very different place now. Instead many very experienced psychotherapists left and were replaced by people who had very basic training and no real experience. I left and when into full time private practice when IAPT was first introduced. Colleagues who stayed reported spending more time filling in forms with patients than engaging in therapy.

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