NHS talking therapies help people with dementia

Talking therapies available on the NHS could improve the mental health of people with dementia if they suffer from anxiety or depression, researchers at UCL have found.

Studies suggest that 38% of people with dementia are affected by anxiety or depression, but the new research found that completing a course of IAPT treatment – the “Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme available nationally on the NHS – could be beneficial for this group.

Researchers examined data from more than 2.5 million people who had had clinically significant anxiety or depression and undertaken a course of IAPT treatment.  These included 1,549 people with a dementia diagnosis.

It was discovered that the treatment reduced mental health symptoms in 63% of those with dementia and approximately 40% recovered entirely.

“This is the largest ever study to investigate outcomes of psychological therapies in people living with dementia,” said lead author Georgia Bell. “Our findings suggest that while people with dementia are less likely to improve or recover than those without dementia, psychological therapies offered in primary