Realizing the Mass Public Benefit of Evidence-Based Psychological Therapies: The IAPT Program

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This seems like it could be of in­ter­est to EAs fo­cused on men­tal health.


Em­piri­cally sup­ported psy­cholog­i­cal ther­a­pies have been de­vel­oped for many men­tal health con­di­tions. How­ever, in most coun­tries only a small pro­por­tion of the pub­lic benefit from these ad­vances. The English Im­prov­ing Ac­cess to Psy­cholog­i­cal Ther­a­pies (IAPT) pro­gram aims to bridge the gap be­tween re­search and prac­tice by train­ing over 10,500 new psy­cholog­i­cal ther­a­pists in em­piri­cally sup­ported treat­ments and de­ploy­ing them in new ser­vices for the treat­ment of de­pres­sion and anx­iety di­s­or­ders. Cur­rently IAPT treats over 560,000 pa­tients per year, ob­tains clini­cal out­come data on 98.5% of these in­di­vi­d­u­als, and places this in­for­ma­tion in the pub­lic do­main. Around 50% of pa­tients treated in IAPT ser­vices re­cover, and two-thirds show worth­while benefits. The clini­cal and eco­nomic ar­gu­ments on which IAPT is based are pre­sented, along with de­tails of the ser­vice model, how the pro­gram was im­ple­mented, and re­cent find­ings about ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion. Limi­ta­tions and fu­ture di­rec­tions are out­lined.

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