HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Demographic and clinical characteristics of UK military veterans attending a psychological therapies service

Article

This research explores the characteristics of UK veterans who attend services based on the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model, which aims to improve the availability of psychological treatments for depression and anxiety.

Abstract

To investigate the demographic and clinical characteristics of subgroups of UK veterans attending a dedicated psychological therapies service following the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) treatment model. Veterans accessing a newly established service in the north-west were categorised into three groups: early service leavers, those with a physical disability, and substance and/or alcohol misusers. Anxiety, depression and social functioning were measured pre- and post-treatment. Veterans vary in their demographic and clinical characteristics as well as in treatment efficacy, as measured by the post-treatment scores on probable depression and anxiety. Therapy appears to be most effective in early service leavers, whereas veterans with a physical disability or a substance or alcohol misuse problem tend not to do as well in terms of symptoms of depression or anxiety. This study highlights the importance of targeting different veteran subgroups for dedicated psychological therapy.

Full Reference

Clarissa M. Giebel, Paul Clarkson, David Challis. Psychiatric Bulletin, Demographic and clinical characteristics of UK military veterans attending a psychological therapies service, 38, 6, 270-275.