Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a national programme, started in 2008, which aims to allow more people with mental health issues to access talking therapies.
In 2011, the government made a commitment to expand this programme to people with psychosis, bipolar disorder and personality disorders.
NHS England selected six demonstration sites to pilot IAPT for people with severe mental illness (SMI) and show whether this work is effective.
McPin was asked to research the experience of people accessing talking therapies in these sites.
While it is important to know about the clinical results for people receiving talking therapies through IAPT, it is also essential to understand the perspective of people who receive them.
We asked people what they felt did or didn’t help them during the programme, and what they liked and didn’t like about the experience.
We also spoke to people who decided not to receive talking therapies through this programme to find out why they didn’t feel it was suitable for them, or what prevented them from accessing it.
This helps understanding of not only who the programme helps but also who it doesn’t help, and how it could be improved to help more people in the future.
The research was carried out by three peer researchers in different parts of the country, supported by two researchers at McPin.
We asked people to complete a questionnaire about their experiences of the programme and then invited 60 people with a range of experiences to take part in an interview with the researchers.
The interviews allowed us to ask more detail about their views and feelings about the talking therapy, or about why they chose not to use it.
The project ran from November 2014 to October 2015, with interviews taking place January to March 2015.
We produced two reports from our service user evaluation – a 12-page A5 summary booklet and the full report – with the three peer researchers who worked on this study with McPin staff.
For more information about the project please email [email protected].
A service user evaluation of the IAPT for SMI demonstration sites
A service user evaluation of the IAPT for SMI demonstration sites summary
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