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Training Frontline Mental Health Staff to Deliver “Low Intensity” Psychological Therapy for Psychosis: A Qualitative Analysis of Therapist and Service User Views on the Therapy and its Future Implementation

  • Helen Waller (a1), Philippa Garety (a1), Suzanne Jolley (a1), Miriam Fornells-Ambrojo (a2), Elizabeth Kuipers (a1), Juliana Onwumere (a1), Anna Woodall (a1) and Tom Craig (a1)...

Background: Increasing access to evidence-based talking therapies for people with psychosis is a national health priority. We have piloted a new, “low intensity” (LI) CBT intervention specifically designed to be delivered by frontline mental health staff, following brief training, and with ongoing supervision and support. A pilot feasibility study has demonstrated significant improvement in service user outcomes. This study is a qualitative analysis of the experiences of the staff and service users taking part in the evaluation. Aims: To evaluate the acceptability of the training protocol and the therapy, and to examine the factors promoting and restraining implementation. Method: All trained staff and service users completed a semi-structured interview that was transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Results: Service users spoke about learning new skills and achieving their goals. Staff spoke about being able to use a brief, structured intervention to achieve positive outcomes for their clients. Both groups felt that longer, more sophisticated interventions were required to address more complex problems. The positive clinical outcomes motivated therapists to continue using the approach, despite organizational barriers. Conclusions: For both trained staff and service users, taking part in the study was a positive experience. Staff members’ perceived skill development and positive reaction to seeing their clients improve should help to promote implementation. Work is needed to clarify whether and how more complex difficulties should be addressed by frontline staff.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Helen Waller, Department of Psychology, PO77, Institute of Psychiatry, King s College London, de Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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