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  • Principal Investigator: Katrina Turner
  • 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017
  • Project No: 288
  • Funding round: FR 11

A significant proportion of primary care patients have personality difficulties.  These patients often experience poor physical and mental health, and frequently present to primary care.  GPs can refer patients with common mental health problems to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.  This programme was established in 2008 to help individuals with depression and anxiety access psychological treatments, i.e. ‘talking therapies’.  In 2011 the government expanded the scope of IAPT services to include the treatment of individuals with personality disorders, many of whom will have personality difficulties.  This development was specifically viewed as responding to the need to support GPs to manage these patients in primary care.  Little is known about how GPs view this development and whether they think it is appropriate.  This change was not accompanied by additional training for IAPT practitioners or additional treatments specifically tailored to the needs of patients with personality difficulties.  Moreover, research suggests that such patients do not respond to IAPT treatments as well as patients without personality difficulties, indicating a need to identify new treatments or at least to modify existing treatments to improve clinical outcomes for this patient group. 

Any new or modified treatment would need to be acceptable to GPs, IAPT therapists, clinical leads and service users, and be deliverable by existing services.  Thus, the aim of this study is to interview these professionals and service users to explore their views regarding which psychological treatment they think would be most appropriate to manage individuals with personality difficulties who are using IAPT services.  The findings will be of value to GPs, IAPT practitioners and clinical commissioners, and will directly feed into a future research grant that will explore the effectiveness of the treatment identified within this study, in the management of IAPT service users with personality difficulties.

Amount awarded: £55,129

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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