The addition of employment support alongside psychological therapy enhances the chance of recovery for clients most at risk of poor clinical outcomes.
Thew G., Popa A., Allsop C., Crozier E., Landsberg J., Sadler S.
Background: Many people achieve positive outcomes from psychological therapies for anxiety and depression. However, not everyone benefits and some may require additional support. Previous studies have examined the demographic and clinical characteristics of people starting treatment and identified a patient profile that is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Aims: To examine whether the addition of employment-related support alongside psychological therapy was associated with a greater chance of recovery for clients belonging to this patient profile. Methods: We analysed 302 clients across three services, who were offered employment-related support alongside psychological therapy. The rate of clinical recovery (falling below clinical thresholds on measures of both anxiety and depression) was compared between individuals who accepted the offer and those who declined, while adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Logistic regression showed that receiving employment support was significantly associated with clinical recovery after controlling for baseline anxiety and depression scores, the number of psychological treatment sessions, and other clinical and demographic variables. The odds of recovery were 2.54 times greater if clients received employment support. 47% of clients who received employment support alongside psychological therapy were classified as recovered, compared to 27% of those receiving psychological therapy only. Conclusions: Providing employment support alongside therapy may be particularly helpful for clients belonging to this patient profile, who represent approximately 10% of referrals to NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services. Services could consider how to increase the provision and uptake of employment-focused support to enhance clients’ clinical outcomes.