Authors: Richard Newton and Priscilla Yardley, VIC
Event: 2007 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Education for Excellence, EDUCATION / TRAINING, EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE, AND OUTCOME RESEARCH
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Clinical Practice Guidelines routinely include Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as an evidence-based psychological intervention for schizophrenia. Despite recommendations for its use, mental health services in general still encounter difficulties in delivering CBT to consumers. Issues such as insufficient training programmes and the lack of access for specific CBT even when it is available are cited as prominent difficulties in implementing CBT in practice. The aim of our project was to explore the process of implementing a more evidence-based approach to service delivery by providing a CBT training programme to clinicians working in a community mental health service. The participants in the training programme included psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatric registrars, and social workers. The outcome of the training was evaluated using documented evidence of using CBT 12-24 months following the completion of training. The results of a case file audit indicated that 87.5% of clinicians trained in CBT documented some evidence of using CBT. Of these, 37.5% showed evidence of formal, planned cognitive-behavioural interventions that showed progressive change for the consumer, such as a decrease in reports of anxiety or depressed mood, increased socialisation, assertiveness, and less distress about hearing ‘voices’. Providing training programmes aimed at up-skilling mental health clinicians to provide CBT to consumers may be relatively easily implemented and is a useful way of addressing the charges of clinical governance: that the service meets the relevant needs of the population with a range of safe and efficient therapies that are evidence-based, and reflect world best practice.