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Preliminary Findings of a New Primary and Community Care Psychological Service in Northern Ireland: Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Common Mental Health Difficulties

  • Orla McDevitt-Petrovic (a1), Karen Kirby (a1), Orla McBride (a1), Mark Shevlin (a1), Donal McAteer (a1), Colin Gorman (a1) and Jamie Murphy (a1)...

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of mental health difficulties in Northern Ireland (NI) is significantly higher than in England. In recent years, there have been extensive consultations, and subsequent recommendations made in NI in an effort to address this. Aims: The current study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) stepped care service model using low-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (LI-CBT) in primary and community care settings. Method: A pilot intervention trial design utilized two standardized outcome measures (PHQ-9 and GAD-7) before treatment (at baseline), during treatment (in every session) and at discharge (at final session). Results: Preliminary reliable change outcomes for the pilot cohorts showed a recovery rate of 47.9%, improvement rate of 76.7% and deterioration rate of 6%. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the IAPT service model is clinically effective in the NI population. Data collection for the larger study was completed in December 2017. Future analyses will include follow-up data collected at 4 months post-treatment, and will also aim to identify individual and service level factors that potentially impact treatment effectiveness.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence to Karen Kirby, School of Psychology and Psychology Research Institute, Ulster University, Derry BT48 7JL. E-mail: k.kirby@ulster.ac.uk

References

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Betts, J. and Thompson, J. (2017). Mental Health in Northern Ireland: Overview, Strategies, Policies, Care Pathways, CAMHS and Barriers to Accessing Services. Research and Information Service Research Paper. Northern Ireland Assembly. http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/publications/2016-2021/2017/health/0817.pdf
Department of Health (2007). IAPT outline service specification: Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/246046/11991919/iapt-pathfinder-outline-service-specification.pdf/9fc11891-ecc5-48e4-a974-9bbc8ab0c690
Gyani, A., Shafran, R., Layard, R. and Clark, D. M (2013). Enhancing recovery rates: lessons from year one of IAPT. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 597606.
Health and Social Care Board (HSC) (2014) You In Mind. Mental Healthcare Pathway. http://www.northerntrust.hscni.net/pdf/Care_pathway_for_people_who_require_mental_health_care_and_support.pdf
Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSC) (2016). Psychological Therapies, Annual Report on the use of IAPT services.
Kroenke, K. and Spitzer, R. L. (2002). The PHQ-9: a new depression diagnostic and severity measure. Psychiatric Annals, 32, 509515.
Richards, D. A. and Whyte, M. (2011). Reach Out: National programme student materials to support the training and for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners delivering low intensity interventions. UK: Rethink Mental Illness, 2011. https://cedar.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/schoolofpsychology/cedar/documents/Reach_Out_3rd_edition.pdf
Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B. and Löwe, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 10921097.

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Preliminary Findings of a New Primary and Community Care Psychological Service in Northern Ireland: Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Common Mental Health Difficulties

  • Orla McDevitt-Petrovic (a1), Karen Kirby (a1), Orla McBride (a1), Mark Shevlin (a1), Donal McAteer (a1), Colin Gorman (a1) and Jamie Murphy (a1)...
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