New Technology Helps to Improve Treatment for NHS Patients with Depression

A new web-based "feedback" technology which allows therapists to accurately monitor how patients with depression are coping has been found to reduce the probability of deterioration during psychological treatment by 74%, a new study has found. The study, which is the largest controlled trial of its kind, involved data from more than 2,000 mental health patients treated across multiple NHS Trusts in England.

Psychological therapy is offered to many people with depression and anxiety who seek treatment in the NHS, but while roughly half of these patients respond well to the treatment, up to 10% actually get worse.

Known as "Outcome Feedback", the new technology was developed by an international team of researchers from UK, German and Dutch Universities, in partnership with PCMIS, a patient case management information system used widely by mental health services.

"Outcome Feedback" uses patient feedback to rapidly identify patients at risk of deterioration by tracking their symptoms and monitoring their response to treatment.

The team behind the technology have now received a grant from the Wellcome Trust to implement the software across the NHS with the aim of improving the quality of psychological care. The grant will also enable the researchers to develop an e-learning programme to train NHS therapists to use the technology effectively.

Lead author of the study, Dr Jaime Delgadillo, who conducted the research while at the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, and is now based at the University of Sheffield, said: "There are many complex reasons why some patients get worse during treatment, including difficult life circumstances and sometimes unresolved difficulties in their relationship with their therapist.

"Patients who don't respond well to therapy usually drop out of treatment after only a few sessions. The outcome feedback technology we developed accurately identifies problems early on and allows therapists to be more in tune with their patients' difficulties and obstacles to improvement."

The technology uses data from weekly patient questionnaires which measure the frequency and intensity of typical depression and anxiety symptoms; such as lethargy, low mood, disrupted sleep cycle, loss of appetite, restlessness, constant worry and difficulty relaxing.

The therapist enters this information into the patient case management system, which plots a graph showing changes in the patient's level of symptoms from week to week.

The system searches for other patients with similar symptoms to assess if the current patient is responding to treatment in a typical way, flagging up "atypical" cases that are not on track. Therapists can then intervene and adapt their plans for treatment, while continuing to track the patient's progress using the feedback technology.

Jaime Delgadillo, Kim de Jong, Mike Lucock, Wolfgang Lutz, Julian Rubel, Simon Gilbody, Shehzad Ali, Elisa Aguirre, Mark Appleton, Jacqueline Nevin, Harry O'Hayon, Ushma Patel, Andrew Sainty, Peter Spencer, Dean McMillan.
Feedback-informed treatment versus usual psychological treatment for depression and anxiety: a multisite, open-label, cluster randomised controlled trial.
Lancet Psychiatry, 5,564-72. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30162-7.

Most Popular Now

Merck and Tencent Announce Collaboration…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value added services. The collaboration will primarily focus on increasing public...

Merck Granted U.S. Patent for Novel Comb…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that it has been granted Patent No. US 10,193,695 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent relates...

Applications Now Open for Pioneering Dig…

The Yorkshire & Humber AHSN (Academic Health Science Network), in partnership with mHabitat, announces that applications for the 2019 Propel@YH digital health accelerator programme are now open. Propel@YH has been...

The European Health Catapult Program for…

Through dedicated sessions, a group of international top-level investors, key healthcare leaders and industry stakeholders work closely together challenging 40+ ambitious startups to optimize their business plan and strengthen their...

Flagship Axe the Fax Trust Rolls out Hyb…

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), the organisation at the forefront of the national Axe the Fax campaign, is implementing an electronic fax solution to tackle its last remaining machines...

First EU Citizens Using ePrescriptions i…

The first EU patients can use digital prescriptions issued by their home doctor when visiting a pharmacy in another EU country: Finnish patients are now able to go to a...

Final Report: Provision of a Market Stud…

The aim of the study is to examine the telemedicine market in Europe and to understand the factors that determine its development. The analysis maps telemedicine applications and solutions, and...

Open Access Drug Development Tools Featu…

New open access tools for drug development, obesity, and the environmental impacts of medicines are the focus of a new IMI2 Call for proposals launched today. The total budget of...

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and I…

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and IBM Canada announced at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando, Florida, their plans to explore the use of blockchain technology...

The NHS Long Term Plan: Cracking the Da …

Opinion Article by Prof. Michael Thick, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Clinical Information Officer, IMS MAXIMS Reading the NHS Long Term Plan this week, I had a definite sense of déjà vu...

Highland Marketing Advisory Board Respon…

The first meeting of Highland Marketing's newly expanded advisory board discussed the NHS Long Term Plan and what will be needed to make it a success. Structural change, leadership, investment...