Implementing therapist-guided internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for obsessive–compulsive disorder in the UK’s IAPT programme: A pilot trial

Abstract

Objectives: Digital therapies such as internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) can improve treatment access for patients with common mental disorders, but are rarely used in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in the United Kingdom. The objective of this open trial was to evaluate an evidence-based ICBT intervention for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD-NET) in three IAPT services. Methods: Consecutively referred patients with a primary diagnosis of OCD (n = 474) were offered OCD-NET. Symptoms of OCD, depression, anxiety, and level of functioning were measured weekly throughout treatment. Results: In the full intention to treat sample (n = 474), the intervention was associated with large reductions in self-reported OCD symptoms (d = 1.77), anxiety (d = 1.55) and depression (d = 0.8), as well as improvements in functional impairment (d = 0.51 to 0.72). Further, 35% of participants were in recovery at their last assessment, 25% achieved reliable improvement and 15% met criteria for both recovery and improvement. Among participants completing at least 4 modules (n = 261), corresponding to an adequate ‘dose’ of treatment, the rates of recovery (44%), reliable improvement (34%) and reliable recovery (21%) were higher. A majority of participants were satisfied with the online treatment and found the online materials helpful. Conclusions: OCD-NET is an effective treatment when delivered in regular care within the IAPT system. Challenges associated with implementing ICBT in regular health care are discussed.

Publication
In British Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Date
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Oskar Flygare
PhD Student in psychology