Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 81 Issue 4 (December 2008), Pages 329-458

NICE guidance and mental health: Supporting change (pages 351-364)

Purpose. The purpose of this article is to give those in the psychology and psychotherapy fields an overview of the work the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is doing to encourage change in response to its guidance.

Methods. A summary is provided of the work NICE undertakes to motivate others to use guidance and the practical support that is made available. Findings of selected studies are highlighted that demonstrate some of the successes and challenges relating to the uptake of NICE guidance.

Results. Key aspects of NICE work include liaison with partners at a national level to ensure work programmes are aligned and provision of practical support, such as the commissioning guide on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). A range of studies show that there have been successes in increasing the provision of psychological therapies but there are still variations which present challenges.

Conclusions. NICE provides a substantial programme of support for the implementation of guidance which impacts on psychologists and psychotherapists. Successes in the uptake of guidance can be demonstrated but it is acknowledged that this is challenging area. NICE is keen to provide the most effective support possible for implementation so continually evaluates and seeks feedback on its implementation programme.

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