Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a United Kingdom initiative to improve access to psychological therapies. It was a result of the economic evaluations[1] by Professor Lord Richard Layard and Labour Party policy.[2][3][4] The aim of the project is to increase the provision of evidence-based treatments for anxiety[5] and depression [6] by primary care organisations. This includes workforce planning to adequately train the mental health professionals required.[7]

Initial indications show that the project has resulted in good clinical outcomes[8] [9] and is cited as a good example of the use of stepped-care to disseminate cognitive behaviour therapy.[10] It is predicted that by 2011,[dated info] approximately 900 000 people will have received treatment, and 3600 new staff will have been trained, possibly removing 25 000 people from sick pay and sickness benefits.[11]

There has been some criticism for the sole use of cognitive behavioural therapy as the only funded therapy[12] and debate over whether IAPT's roll-out may result initially in low quality therapy being offered by poorly trained practitioners.[13][14]

In December 2010, Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, announced an extension to the IAPT project to include Children and Young Peoples services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Depression Report. A new deal for depression and anxiety disorders". London School of Economics. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Fit for purpose". The Guardian (London). 18 February 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Middleton H (2008). "Quality improvement in primary care mental health practice. A case for political intervention?". Qual Prim Care 16 (6): 419–24. PMID 19094417. 
  4. ^ "Therapy Today - The Online Magazine for Counsellors and Psychotherapists". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "NICE treatment guidance for anxiety". Retrieved 26 April 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "NICE treatment guidance for depression". Retrieved 26 April 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "IAPT policy and guidance". Department of Health. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  8. ^ Richards DA, Suckling R (February 2009). "Improving access to psychological therapies: Phase IV prospective cohort study". Br J Clin Psychol 48 (Pt 4): 377–96. doi:10.1348/014466509X405178. PMID 19208291. 
  9. ^ Clark and Layard et al (March 2009). "Improving Access to Psychological Therapy: Initial Evaluation of Two UK Demonstration Sites". Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Taylor CB, Chang VY (2008). "Issues in the dissemination of cognitive-behavior therapy". Nord J Psychiatry. 62 Suppl 47: 37–44. doi:10.1080/08039480802315673. PMID 18752117. 
  11. ^ "Technical Guidance for IAPT Key Performance Indicators". March 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  12. ^ Hope, Jenny (2 August 2009). "Mail on line. Talk therapy for the depressed 'could be wasting millions', say psychotherapists". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Proven Effectiveness". Retrieved 17 December 2014. 

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