The Australian version of IAPT: clinical outcomes of the multi-site cohort study of NewAccess

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Background: The United Kingdom IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) approach of delivering low intensity therapies for symptoms of depression and anxiety was adapted for Australia and named NewAccess. Clinical outcomes of the service were evaluated in three sites between October 2013 and 2016.

Aims: This paper describes the clinical outcomes in the Australian health setting.

Methods: Prospective cohort study with repeated measures. Both intent-to-treat and per protocol analyses were conducted for primary outcomes measures Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (nine item), and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (seven item). Secondary measures were Phobia Scale and Work and Social Adjustment Scale.

Results: Three thousand nine hundred and forty-six individuals were assessed, and 3269 attended at least two treatment sessions. Forty percent were males. There was a clinically meaningful reduction (improvement) shown by reliable recovery rates in both depression and anxiety symptoms at post-treatment assessment (68%; 95% CI: 66–70%) with large effect sizes (1.23 for depression and 1.25 for anxiety). Outcomes in PHQ-9 and GAD-7 were not influenced by age or sex, but recovery rates were significantly reduced by relationship status (single or separated). Unemployment reduced PHQ-9 outcomes but not GAD-7 outcomes.

Conclusion: NewAccess demonstrated positive clinical outcomes in Australia, that compared favourably with international studies with the same methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Early online date12 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2020


  • CBT
  • IAPT
  • NewAccess
  • Step 2 mental health care
  • anxiety
  • depression


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