Dr Nicola Wiles and Dr David Kessler, Directors of the Psychological Therapies in Primary Care Health Integration Team (InPsyTe HIT), give an update on the HIT's work in 2015-16.
Our HIT aims to improve psychological care for patients with depression, anxiety and other common mental disorders. These are a major cause of disability, and patients express a preference for psychological therapies. We also want to innovate, and a major theme is developing online technology to improve access to psychological treatments.
We have focused on improving patient access and engagement with the local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. We made a short film about participants’ experience of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This has been shared on therapy provider and health and social care websites.
We are developing a strategy to improve the promotion and engagement of psychoeducational courses and webinars, to support IAPT to achieve its access targets. We are also advising on data collection to monitor and evaluate why people might drop out of the IAPT service before treatment has finished.
Our HIT has provided a useful collaboration when considering the roll out and evaluation of SilverCloud, an online therapist-supported package, in the IAPT service. The INTERACT programme started this year, which will develop a therapist-integrated online CBT intervention for depression. It will be followed by a randomised control trial evaluating the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
Another focus of our work is the use of mobile technology, such as the SAM app, in psychological interventions. A longer term aim is to expand the access of psychological therapies through digital innovation.