A New Mental Health Service Model for NI: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Low Intensity CBT (LI-CBT)

K Kirby, O McDevit-Petrovic, O McBride, M Shevlin, D McAteer, C Gorman, J Murphy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The prevalence of mental health problems in Northern Ireland (NI) is 19%, and this is 25% higher than in England (DHSSPS, 2014). In recent years, there have been extensive consultations, and subsequent recommendations made in NI, in an effort to address this issue and to support an improved infrastructure for the training and development of those working within mental health services (DHSSPS, 2012, 2015). Reform within mental health services in NI has been informed over the past decade by the Bamford review from which two action plans have been proposed (DHSSPS, 2012, 2015). In response to this, researchers at Ulster University wanted to demonstrate an evidence base for the implementation of a new primary care/community based psychological therapies service model in NI, based on the UK ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) service model. This was informed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, which advocates the use of low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy (LI-CBT) for mild to moderate anxiety and depression (NICE 2004a, 2004b). Evidence from IAPT sites suggest that the model is clinically effective (Clark, Layard, Smithies, Richards, Suckling & Wright, 2009) but that the appropriate resourcing of steps one and two is a more cost effective way to manage the high demands placed on health services. Hence, the current study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing an IAPT service model using LI-CBT in primary and community care settings in NI. Two clinically valid routine outcome measures were used, which evaluate every client in every session, with data collection for the first phase of the study taking place between January 2015 and October 2016. Preliminary reliable change outcomes for the pilot cohorts showed recovery rates of 47.9%, improvement rates of 76.7% and deterioration rates of 6%. These findings indicate that the IAPT service model is clinically effective in a NI population. Data collection for the study is continuing between November 2016 and November 2017, using the same outcome measures, and additional follow-up data will also be examined in order to determine if the psychological benefits of interventions are maintained over time. Future analyses will also aim to identify individual and service level factors which potentially impact the effectiveness of the intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages0
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017
EventMental Health: Treatments and Interventions - Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate
Duration: 8 Mar 2017 → …


ConferenceMental Health: Treatments and Interventions
Period8/03/17 → …


  • evaluation
  • low intensity CBT
  • service model
  • NI


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