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Improving Access to Psychological therapies services provide evidence-based psychological therapies to people with anxiety disorders and depression. IAPT is widely-recognized as the most ambitious program of talking therapies in the world and in the past year alone more than one million people accessed IAPT services for help to overcome their depression and anxiety, and better manage their mental health.

IAPT services are characterized by three things:

Evidenced-based psychological therapies: with the therapy delivered by fully trained and accredited practitioners, matched to the mental health problem and its intensity and duration designed to optimize outcomes. From April 2018 all clinical commissioning groups are required to offer IAPT services integrated with physical healthcare pathways. The IAPT Pathway for People with Long-term Physical Health Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptom's guidance is intended to help with implementation and sets out the ideal pathway for IAPT services.

Routine outcome monitoring: so that the person having therapy and the clinician offering it have up-to-date information on an individual’s progress. This supports the development of a positive and shared approach to the goals of therapy and as this data is anonymized and published this promotes transparency in service performance, encouraging improvement.

Regular and outcomes focused supervision, so practitioners are supported to continuously improve and deliver high quality care.

Core IAPT services provide treatment for people with the following common mental health problems:

• Agoraphobia
• Body dysmorphic disorder
• Depression
• Generalized anxiety disorder.
• Health anxiety (hypochondriasis)
• Mixed depression and anxiety (the term for sub-syndrome depression and anxiety, rather than both depression and anxiety)
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Panic disorder
• Social anxiety disorder
• Specific phobias (such as heights or small animals)
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• MUS not otherwise specified.

IAPT Guidelines:

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Manual

Common mental health problems: identification and pathways to care

Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical management and service guidance.

Depression in adults: treatment and management

Depression in adults with a chronic physical health problem: recognition and management.

Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder: treatment.

Social anxiety disorder: recognition, assessment and treatment.
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