On SAGE Insight: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) – The Need for Radical Reform

From Journal of Health Psychology

If you are suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder you have a 1 in 10 chance of recovery with treatment through the UK Government funded IAPT Service, according to this article. The author, Consultant Psychologist, Dr Michael Scott independently assessed 90 people, in the North West of England, who had gone through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program, using a ‘gold standard’ diagnostic interview, he found that only the ‘tip of the iceberg’, recovered from an identified disorder. When it was set up in 2007 the Government target was for a 50% recovery rate from disorder, ‘IAPT is clearly in need of radical reform’ says  Dr Scott. The Editor of the Journal Dr David Marks, says the study is a ‘damning indictment’ of the £1 billion Government sponsored program


Improving Access to Psychological Therapies is a UK government-funded initiative to widen access to the psychological treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. The author has had the opportunity to independently assess 90 Improving Access to Psychological Therapiesclients, using a standardised semi-structured interview, the Structured Clinical Diagnostic Interview for DSM Disorders (SCID) and to listen to their account of interaction with the service. The results suggest that only the tip of the iceberg fully recovers from their disorder (9.2%) whether or not they were treated before or after a personal injury claim. There is a pressing need to re-examine the modus operandi of the service.

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Article details
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) – The Need for Radical Reform
Michael J Scott
First Published February 2, 2018
DOI: 10.1177/1359105318755264
Journal of Health Psychology


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