Assessing the Impact of Talking Therapies

The Department of Health (DOH) has produced an impact assessment of talking therapies which is available here. The impact assessment follows a standard DOH format and an impressive amount of work has gone into this assessment. The document is too complex to easily summarise but broadly speaking the authors consider a number of scenarios for talking therapy programs. As an example they look at the possibility that there would be no additional expansion and translate this into numbers of people treated over a 5-year period. What the authors do is to construct several mathematical models. Furthermore these models are based on the literature including relevant surveys and reports. They incorporate a number of interesting assumptions – for example natural remission rates from mental illnesses compared to remission rates with psychotherapy or medication in producing economic models. The reader is directed both to the data sources and the authors outline the details of the statistical analysis.

The authors address the needs of specific populations. The main emphasis of the IAPT programs currently have been adults of working age. In the document the authors note that

Older adults are significantly under-represented in the patient profile of existing talking therapies services

and furthermore that

Analysis of data from IAPT’s first wave sites indicated that adults over the age of 65 represented an average of 4% of those accessing IAPT services between October 2008 and September 2009

Clearly there is useful scope for expansion of the IAPT programs and although there various well-detailed costs for this the authors also demonstrate the economic benefits. This is a meticulously detailed document which offers the interested reader insights into how to present the case for a service.

Index: An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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