Aims This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a primary care adult mental health service operating within a stepped care model of service delivery. Methods Supervised by a principal psychologist manager, psychology graduate practitioners provided one-to-one brief cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to service users. The Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) was used to assess service user treatment outcomes. Satisfaction questionnaires were administered to service users and referring general practitioners (GPs). Results A total of 43 individuals attended for an initial appointment, of whom 19 (44.2%) completed brief CBT treatment. Of the 13 service users who were in the clinical range pre-treatment, 11 (84.6%) achieved clinical and reliably significant improvement. Of the six service users who were in the non-clinical range pre-treatment, three (50%) achieved reliably significant improvement. Both service users and GPs indicated high levels of satisfaction with the service, although service accessibility was highlighted as needing improvement. Conclusion The service was effective in treating mild to moderate mental health problems in primary care. Stricter adherence to a stepped care model through the provision of low-intensity, high-throughput interventions would be desirable for future service provision.
Keywords: brief CBT; service evaluation; stepped care model.
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