A research fellow in the Population Health Research Institute is running a study, 'Understanding and improving Assessment Processes for Talking Therapies' (APTT).
Service users and trauma survivors often say that they want more opportunities to talk to someone and to be listened to. To date, over one million people have been assessed for talking therapies through the IAPT (Improving Access to Psycholoical Therapies) programme, with many more assessed in community settings.
However, there is some evidence to suggest that these encounters can at times be damaging for service users. The APTT research programme aims to gain a better understanding of service users' experiences of being assessed for talking therapies, and to generate evidence on best practice.
The APTT research programme is survivor-controlled. It consists of three studies.
1. Literature reviews (to 2017)
In the first study, we described and reviewed trauma-informed approaches, focussing on mental health in the UK – you can read and download the paper on the Emerald website. A second systematic literature review is currently exploring what is known about service users' experiences of assessments for talking therapies.
2. Qualitative investigation (2017-2018)
The second study will be a qualitative exploration of the enactment and experience of assessments for talking therapies from clinician and service user perspectives, informed by the findings from the first study.
3. Modified Delphi study (2019)
In the third and final study, consensus methods will be used to generate clinical guidelines on assessments for talking therapies. This study will be informed by the findings from the first and second studies.
Call for literature
Do you know of any research that includes information on people’s experiences of mental health assessments?
APTT Advisory Groups
APTT is guided by a Clinician and a Service User Advisory Group who both meet regularly to inform design, data collection, data interpretation, reporting and dissemination. Advisory Group members have wide-ranging expertise, including in survivor research, health services research, delivering and receiving IAPT, delivering and receiving psychotherapy, and local services. Dr Sweeney's research profile page contains more information about APTT Advisory Groups.
The research programme is funded by a five year part-time NIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellowship awarded to Dr Angela Sweeney.
Sweeney A, Clement S, Filson B, Kennedy A (2016) Trauma-informed mental healthcare in the UK: what is it and how can we further its development? Mental Health Review Journal