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

Researchers Apply Computing Power to Tra…

Princeton researchers have developed a new computational method that increases the ability to track the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another. This migration of...

Philips Powers First Tele-Intensive Care…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Japan-based Showa University announced the launch of Japan's first telemedicine intensive care (eICU) program at Showa University...

Open Call SC1-DTH-10-2019-2020: Digital …

Digital solutions supporting a continuum of care across a range of health and care services can relieve the pressure on governments to provide more cost-effective health and care systems by...

AI and Radar Technologies could Help Dia…

People with diabetes could be able to monitor their blood sugar without drawing blood using a system now being developed at the University of Waterloo. In a recent study, researchers...

Bad Habits that Lead to Cancer, Chronic …

Does this sound like someone you know? He or she spends too much time in front of screens, gets little exercise and eats a diet high in fat and low...

Private Healthcare Data to be Captured b…

An initiative has been launched to ensure private healthcare data is recorded in the same way as NHS data in England, with the aim of improving consistency across the system...

Research Finds Three Major Failings in s…

In the scramble to bring successful apps for the diagnosis of skin cancer to market there is a concern that a lack of testing is risking public safety, according to...

New Tissue-Imaging Technology could Enab…

A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois. The system uses...

New Technology Helps to Improve Treatmen…

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...

Rapid Zika Detection Test Uses Smartphon…

The Zika virus, which continues to cause microcephaly and other neurological complications in infants whose mothers were infected during pregnancy, remains a public health concern. Investigators from Brigham and Women's...

AAL Market and Investment Report

The AAL Market and Investment Report was commissioned by the Ambient Assisted Living Association and aims to provide a consolidated view of the existing market and investment information in Europe...