Investigating the use of NICE guidelines and IAPT services in the treatment of depression

Authors: Gyani, Alex1; Pumphrey, Neil2; Parker, Hannah2; Shafran, Roz3; Rose, Suzanna4

Source: Mental Health in Family Medicine, Volume 9, Number 3, September 2012 , pp. 149-160(12)

Publisher: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.

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Abstract:

Background: There is evidence that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for mental health disorders are used to varying degrees in primary care. A lack of access to cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) has been found to be a barrier to their implementation. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative was created in 2007 to increase the availability of NICE-recommended psychological treatments for depression and anxiety disorders within the National Health Service in England.

Aim: This study aims to investigate whether general practitioners (GPs) who have access to IAPT services and use NICE guidelines are more likely to use NICE concordant treatments for depression than those who do not. Depression was chosen as it is the most common mental health problem facing primary care physicians.

Method: Questionnaires were sent to 830 GPs in southeast England and six GPs were interviewed. The response rate to the questionnaires was 27% (n = 222).

Results: Ninety-five per cent of GPs were aware of the NICE guidelines for depression, and 76% had read them. Concordance with the guidelines was significantly higher when GPs had access to a local IAPT service or had read the NICE guidelines.

Conclusions: The interviews revealed favourable views to IAPT services when used, although access to treatments was still a common barrier to the implementation of the NICE guidelines for depression.

Keywords: CLINICAL GUIDELINES; DEPRESSION; EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral Researcher 2: Undergraduate Student 3: Chair of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK 4: Consultant Psychological Therapist & Head of Research and Development, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Bracknell, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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