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This was a multi-site evaluation of psycho-educational transdiagnostic seminars (TDS) as a pre-treatment intervention to enhance the effectiveness and utilisation of high-intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
To evaluate the effectiveness of TDS combined with high-intensity CBT (TDS+CBT) versus a matched sample receiving CBT only. Second, to determine the consistency of results across participating services which employed CBT+TDS. Finally, to determine the acceptability of TDS across patients with different psychological disorders.
106 patients across three services voluntarily attended TDS while on a waiting list for CBT (TDS+CBT). Individual and pooled service pre–post treatment effect sizes were calculated using measures of depression, anxiety and functional impairment. Effectiveness and completion rates for TDS+CBT were compared with a propensity score matched sample from an archival dataset of cases who received high-intensity CBT only.
Pre–post treatment effect sizes for TDS+CBT were comparable to the matched sample. Recovery rates were greater for the group receiving TDS; however, this was not statistically significant. Greater improvements were observed during the waiting-list period for patients who had received TDS for depression (d = 0.49 compared with d = 0.07) and anxiety (d = 0.36 compared with d = 0.04).
Overall, this new evidence found a trend for TDS improving symptoms while awaiting CBT across three separate IAPT services. The effectiveness of TDS now warrants further exploration through an appropriately sized randomised control trial.
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