Implementing NICE guidelines for the psychological treatment of depression and anxiety disorders: the IAPT experience

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2011 Aug;23(4):318-27. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2011.606803.


The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme is a large-scale initiative that aims to greatly increase the availability of NICE recommended psychological treatment for depression and anxiety disorders within the National Health Service in England. This article describes the background to the programme, the arguments on which it is based, the therapist training scheme, the clinical service model, and a summary of progress to date. At mid-point in a national roll-out of the programme progress is generally in line with expectation, and a large number of people who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to receive evidence-based psychological treatment have accessed, and benefited from, the new IAPT services. Planned future developments and challenges for the programme are briefly described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • England
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotherapy / trends
  • Treatment Outcome