Improving Quality and Effectiveness of Services Therapies and Self-management on longer term depression (IQuESTS)

Depression is one of the commonest yet most debilitating mental health problems. Approximately 80% of sufferers only partially recover, or relapse. Depression must therefore be seen as a relapsing or recurrent condition, which requires long-term management to minimise the impact on people's quality of life. There is evidence that psychological therapies have efficacy for depression, but most trials focus on symptomatic improvement from a single episode. Long-term recovery involves the patient progressing from 'passive victim' of the illness to someone who is in control, able to engage socially, and able to cope with secondary negative effects, including their vulnerability to relapse.

The IQuESTS Project, which was funded by the NIHR CLAHRC, aimed to reduce levels of chronic, recurrent and relapsing depression in South Yorkshire through translating results from clinical trials of psychological treatments for depression to routine NHS conditions, improving self-management, and demonstrating a step change in the quality and effectiveness of NHS psychological services and therapies. Three work packages were undertaken

  1. The first involved system modelling of care pathway in relation to self-management, resulting in a quantified decision model which examines the flow of patients with longer term depression through the Sheffield NHS care system and the resulting costs and outcomes
  2. The second work package used qualitative methods to develop an understanding of self-management and recovery in long-term depression based on service users' views and experiences of managing their condition and the treatments they have received
  3. The third work package brought together work packages 1 and 2 to affect real changes in service delivery. This was done through testing of self-management innovations within the care of individual service users and gathering data from clients and therapists about the acceptability and feasibility of each innovation tested.

As part of our research dissemination, we produced a film that explores people's experiences of living with longer-term depression, and how self-management approaches can empower individuals to take control of their mental well being. The film also gives a powerful insight into how service-user involvement throughout the IQuESTS project has helped shape a new approach that better meets the needs of this group. You can view the IQuESTS film: 'Living well with longer-term depression' here:

Living well with longer-term depression - The IQuESTS Project from CLAHRC SY Core Team on Vimeo.

Here is a link to the CLAHRC South Yorkshire webpage.