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Impact of a progressive stepped care approach in an improving access to psychological therapies service: An observational study.

08:00 EDT 9th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Impact of a progressive stepped care approach in an improving access to psychological therapies service: An observational study."

England's national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme advocates stepped care as its organizational delivery of psychological therapies to common mental health problems. There is limited evidence regarding the efficacy of stepped care as a service delivery model, heterogeneity of definition and differences in model implementation in both research and routine practice, hence outcome comparison in terms of effectiveness of model is difficult. Despite sound evidence of the efficacy of low intensity interventions there appears to be a perpetuation of the notion that severity and complexity should only be treated by a high intensity intervention through the continuation of a stratified care model. Yet no psychotherapy treatment is found to be more superior to another, and not enough is known about what works for whom to aid the matching of treatment decision. In the absence of understanding precise treatment factors optimal for recovery, it may be useful to better understand the impact of a service delivery model, and whether different models achieve different outcomes. This study aims to contribute to the discussion regarding the stepped care definition and delivery, and explores the impact on clinical outcomes where different types of stepped care have been implemented within the same service. An observational cohort study analysed retrospective data (n = 16,723) over a 4 year period, in a single IAPT service, where delivery changed from one type of stepped care model to another. We compared the outcomes of treatment completers with a stratified care model and a progression care model. We also explored the assumption that patients who score severe on psychological measures, and therefore are potentially complex, would achieve better outcomes in a stratified model. Outcomes in each model type were compared, alongside baseline factor variables. A significant association was observed between a recovery outcome and model type, with patients 1.5 times more likely to recover in the progression delivery model. The potential implications are that with a progression stepped care model of service delivery, more patients can be treated with a lower intensity intervention, even with initial severe presentations, ensuring that only those that need high intensity CBT or equivalent are stepped up. This could provide services with an effective clinical model that is efficient and potentially more cost effective.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0214715

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