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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and antidepressant prescribing rates in England

Antidepressant prescribing rates in England have been increasing since the 1970s. The impact of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative on antidepressant prescribing rates is unknown. In a paper published in the British Journal of General Practice, Vaishnavee Sreeharan and colleagues from Imperial College London investigated the impact of the establishment of IAPT services on antidepressant prescribing rates in primary care trusts (PCTs) in England.  They used a longitudinal time-series analysis, using PCT-level data from 2008 to 2011. They reported that antidepressant prescribing rates in England increased by 10% per year during the study period. The implementation of IAPT services had no significant effect on antidepressant prescribing. They concluded that the introduction of a large-scale initiative to increase provision of psychological therapies has not curbed the long-term increased prescribing of antidepressants in England. You can read commentaries on the article on the Pulse, Psychology Online and Psychologist websites. 

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