Cost of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme

 

This research has been published online:

Cost of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme: an analysis of cost of session, treatment and recovery in selected Primary Care Trusts in the East of England region. Radhakrishnan M, Hammond G, Jones P, Watson A, McMillan-Shields F, Lafortune L. Behaviour Research and Therapy 51 (2013), pp. 37-45; DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.10.001 

Aims

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is an important innovation in the provision of mental health services in the UK. It was originally designed to increase access to psychological therapies, thereby alleviating the burden and distress associated with anxiety and depression. Recent literature has reported on improvements in clinical outcomes, changes in employment status as a result of the programme, but not on the costs of the programme. We used routine data from IAPT services to estimate the cost of session, treatment and recovery in selected Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the East of England region.

Methods

We assessed treatment outcomes for patients from 5 PCTs who had completed/ended treatment between 2009 and 2010. To assess treatment outcomes we looked at changes in the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms reported by patients as part of the IAPT routine clinical dataset (questionnaires PHQ-9 and GAD-7). We combined this information with other financial and treatment data. Generalising a few costing assumptions, the cost of session, treatment course and recovery were estimated.

Outcomes

This analysis is, to our knowledge, one of the first looking at the cost associated with delivery of IAPT services. An important contribution of the study is a simple costing framework for IAPT providers and commissioners to estimate costs of IAPT services. This work will form the basis for a best practice guide for wide dissemination to support commissioning and performance management of IAPT. An academic paper for peer-reviewed publication has been published (details below).

Partners

We have been working in close partnership with NHS East of England  to improve services based on research results. 

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For more information contact: Dr Louise Lafortune, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, ll394@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Download the briefing paper on Cost of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme