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Digital IAPT: Speaker News & Updates

News and updates from today’s Digital IAPT conference looking at how digital therapies can help us work smarter.

Jeremy Clarke CBE Chair of the New Savoy Conferences opens the day by asking; ‘Can we use digital pathways to break big pharma’s stranglehold?’ Jeremy stated: 

'The Conservative party have promised the biggest shake up of mental health provision for 30 years if re-elected'

'They have also promised 10,000 more staff for the NHS'

'I think they want to follow through with working more closely with communities and health care providers'

'Mental Health is a key component of their policies'

'The policy makers have been listening about the un-finished journey in mental health'

'I have received a letter from The Department of Health after inviting Nicola Blackwood MP to talk at this conference. She outlined that they are committed to developing online digital health tools, which have been established along with mental health apps, that will be able to help treat mental health conditions'

Online therapy – should it come with the same health warnings as online dating?
Julie Stone, 
Healthcare lawyer, ethicist and expert by experience

Julie Stone's Full Presentation Click Here

In her presentation Julie stated: 

'Prevention is better than drug treatment or anything else on offer'

'Most of the governments eggs are in the IAPT basket'

'Psychological therapies are capable of helping peoples suffering'

'One of the most effective therapies I have had is CBT'

'Digital IAPT - why - because we do everything else on line, poor transport, low income and everything else stopping us from getting face to face treatment'

'The government is very keen on extending digital provision'

'I believe Risk Assessment will be just as much a concern digitally as it is face to face'

'If the evidence supports that online relationships can be as effective, then that’s fine, BUT we will see' 'You will loose visual awareness, body language - I look forward to hearing otherwise'

'This is a brilliant form of access for people to get therapy'

'What concerns me is that there may be less investment for face to face psychological therapies'

'It would be very sad if the connectiveness of face to face therapy was lost by digital therapy - a blended approach would be great'

Using real-time tracking to prevent treatment failure in CBT and improve recovery outcomes for IAPT 
Dr Sarah Bateup, 
Clinical Programme Lead, ieso

Dr Sarah Bateup's Full Presentation Click Here

Pre-Event Abstract
The measurement of clinical outcomes in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has become routine practice since the advent of the United Kingdom’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) programme. 

Gyani, Shafran, Layard and Clark (2013) analysed the clinical outcome data of 19,395 patients who received at least 2 treatment sessions within IAPT services.  They report on the predictors of clinical recovery and improvement in relation to therapist variables and methods of interventions.  Gyani et al., conclude that better outcomes are achieved when services use experienced therapists who adhere to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. However, very little is known about therapist behaviour, in relation to fidelity to the CBT model or adherence to the evidence base, in IAPT treatment settings.  

To date there have been no large-scale studies exploring the correlation between therapist behaviour and clinical outcome in routine clinical practice.  The logistics of delivering a service to patients make it both time consuming and expensive to collect the large volume of live therapy data required to establish a correlation between therapist variables and clinical outcome. 

Internet Enabled CBT (IECBT) is one method of providing CBT within IAPT. One aspect of IECBT that is novel and unique is the availability of therapy transcripts for every therapy appointment attended.  This is the first time that it has been possible to examine live therapy material, at volume, in a clinical setting.    Internet Enabled CBT is a unique method that uses synchronous written communication in a secure virtual therapy room.  

The therapy transcripts delivered by 206 BABCP accredited CBT therapists for 10,000 patients who had completed CBT using the IECBT were examined for themes that correlated with good clinical outcomes. The findings and resulting clinical methodology from this study will be presented.

What do we do when ‘what works’ – CBT – doesn’t work?
Stories from the battlefield Minddistrict UK
Fennie Wiepkema, 
Director, Minddistrict UK

Fennie Wiepkema's Full Presentation Click Here 

Pre-Event Abstract
While the demand for access to mental health services is clearly growing, IAPT services are under immense pressure to support everyone in need. Exploring four real-life stories from the ‘battlefield’, Minddistrict’s UK Director Fennie Wiepkema will give practical insights on how to overcome the common barriers encountered in IAPT services, from engagement to aftercare, to benefit both clinicians and clients, and ultimately society as a whole.

Digital pathways in IAPT: What works, For whom?

Derek Richards Director of Clinical Research and Innovation Silver Cloud

In his presentation Derek Richards stated: 

‘Silvercloud, Online mental health care’

‘We are research driven, we come from academic research’

‘Digital can allow for far greater variety – get access to treatment immediately – no travel required and access is 24/7’

‘Therapists spend a lot of time explaining concepts – so doing things digitally is more time effective’

‘Integrated IAPT – Programmes tailored to help those living with long term conditions’ ‘There is no cure but there are ways of managing conditions’

‘Helping the paitient understand their condition – you cannot deliver CBT etc without tailoring it to the individual patient’

‘Not everyone needs face to face intensive intervention, Digital has it’s place in the pathway to care’

Emotional wellbeing begins at home: Using a digital pathway to improve doctor’s stress levels

Clare Gerada, Medical Director, Practitioner Health Programme

In her presentation Clare stated:

‘In 2008 I set up Practitioner Health Programme. This is for problems that Doctors have themselves such as anxiety and stress’

‘My profession (GP) is the most battered, we are GP’s and we are struggling to provide care’

‘What happens to frontline staff? They become anxious and depressed’

‘Each one of us has something that keeps us going’ ‘PHP provides CBT virtually, by telephone and face to face. We allow our doctors unlimited sessions, but they usually get better in 6 to 8 sessions’

‘What I have learnt is, if you build it they will come. Things will get better. The GMC has changed dramatically, it is not just putting the patient in their heart but the doctor too’

‘Digital has a pivitol role – supporting those who are most vulnerable and for those who are falling off the edge’

‘More time is being spent in digital space and the fastest growing number of people who are depressed are young women – there could be a link here’ ‘Its important to remember that we thrive and survive in human relationships’

‘The most important people in our service is the staff – not the patients. If the staff are cracking then they can’t attend to the patients’

‘I think digital is creating loneliness – so you have to be very careful when offering help digitally’

‘The younger generation just think they can do everything. The older generation like me need to help the younger generation to say no when too much is being asked of them’.

Future events of interest:

IAPT: Improving Psychological Therapies for Older People
Monday 19 June 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Towards Zero Suicide: Preventing Suicide, Saving Lives
Friday 29 September 
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London


8 May 2017

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