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.
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