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Why has our recovery rate dropped? An audit examining waiting times, starting scores and length of treatment in relation to recovery within an IAPT service

  • Kyla Vaillancourt (a1) (a2), John Manley (a2) and Nicholas McNulty (a2)
Abstract

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative was created to provide mental health services for those experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety. IAPT is commissioned on the basis that it achieves adequate performance on a number of ‘key performance indicators’, one of which is the proportion of clients who ‘move towards recovery’ following treatment. The impetus for the current evaluation was a significant reduction in the proportion of clients recovering within an IAPT service. Data for this clinical audit was obtained from IAPT electronic records (IAPTus). Three factors (waiting times, clinical contact and starting scores on the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) were examined and explored separately for each level of care (i.e. steps 2 and 3). These factors were analysed in relation to recovery and compared between periods of low and high recovery within the service. Results reveal that there was little change in the severity of clients’ starting scores between the periods of low and high recovery. Increased waiting time in the period of low recovery was not associated with recovery status. The amount of clinical contact was related to recovery at both time periods. Limitations and implications of the findings are discussed.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Miss K. Vaillancourt, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, Addiction Sciences Building, 4 Windsor Walk, London, SE5 8AF, UK (kyla.vaillancourt@kcl.ac.uk).
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