Skip to content
Mental health

Improving services for people with common mental health disorders including psychotic experiences


Anxiety and depression are among the most common mental health disorders in the UK, but not everyone experiences them the same way.

Some people with common mental health disorders also have psychotic experiences like paranoia and voice hallucinations. And these people sometimes find themselves in a treatment gap. Programmes for anxiety and depressions don’t always address their psychotic experiences, and services that do are scattered and inadequate. This can mean that psychotic experiences go untreated, which can have a negative impact on their health and quality of life.

More than 900,000 people in the UK receive treatment for anxiety and depression through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, and a recent study indicated that 30% of them also have psychotic experiences. IAPT services don’t specifically target psychotic symptoms, and evidence shows this population may be much less likely to recover than those without psychotic experiences.

Developing a new talking therapy for IAPT service users with psychotic experience could help bridge this treatment gap and better meet the needs of this underserved group. This study will seek the views of patients and NHS staff to inform the design, development and evaluation of such a therapy.


The goal of this study is to work with IAPT service users, therapists and managers to inform the co-production of a talking therapy for people who have common mental health disorders including psychotic experience, and to evaluate the implementation of the new therapy.

As part of these efforts, we will conduct interviews with IAPT service users (past and present) who experience psychotic symptoms, service users who receive the new therapy, experienced IAPT therapists trained in the new therapy, and IAPT managers.

We will then analyse these interviews to produce an in-depth account – both strengths and challenges – of IAPT care for people with common mental health disorders who have psychotic experiences, and the process of delivering the new therapy.

This project is also known as Tailoring evidence-based psychological therapY for People with common mental disorder including Psychotic EXperiences (TYPPEX). It expected to run until 2023. Check back for updates and research findings.

Funding and ethics

This study is funded by the Health Foundation’s grant to The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS Institute) and the National Institute of Health Research. It is independently led by THIS Institute. The study was reviewed by London-Harrow Research Ethics Committee.

Sign up to receive the latest news, reports and articles from THIS Institute.