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Ieso Digital Health to trial online therapy tailored for diabetes patients

A Cambridge company has launched a clinical trial to measure the success of online cognitive behavioural therapy tailored for those with with type 2 diabetes.

Ieso Digital Health is to treat 500 patients with the treatment.

Sarah Bateup, chief clinical officer at Ieso Digital Health. (24378472)
Sarah Bateup, chief clinical officer at Ieso Digital Health. (24378472)

Studies have found that mental health issues among those people diagnosed with diabetes are far more prevalent than for those without the condition. Some 25 per cent of those with diabetes are reported to live with depression and 40 per cent with anxiety.

The study will help Ieso, a leader in internet-enabled cognitive behavioural therapy (ie-CBT), understand more about whether treating a mental health condition in the context of diabetes has a positive impact on mental wellbeing and subsequently aid diabetes management for patients.

Ieso, based at St John’s Innovation Park, is an IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) programme service, and provides therapy to 74 NHS clinical commissioning groups across England and Scotland. It has treated 50,000 patients through its ThinkWell platform.

Many of those referred for treatment have lived with the additional complexity of long-term conditions, including diabetes.

However, there is a shortage of therapists who provide tailored treatment for these patients with comorbid depression or anxiety.

The aim of Ieso’s trial is to ascertain the effects of ie-CBT on two measurable outcomes. Firstly, whether the patient feel less anxious or depressed following a course of treatment and secondly, whether they feel less stressed by their diabetes.

Sarah Bateup, chief clinical officer at Ieso Digital Health, said: “We have found through our extensive experience in treating mental health conditions with CBT, that there is a prevalence of stress, depression and anxiety amongst patients that have also been diagnosed with a long-term, physical condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

“Although all of our therapists receive thorough training to understand all elements of mental health, it is much more difficult to adapt to patients specific needs unless they know more about the condition and how to adapt in the best way.

“Rather than simply extend our service with a tailored treatment, we felt it imperative to run a clinical trial first to test the training and understand the treatment benefits patients can expect before offering a full service to our NHS partners.”

To be eligible for the clinical study, participants must live in England, be over 18 and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for at least 12 months.

Once selected, participants will be assessed before receiving a course of online CBT therapy with their allocated therapist.

There is no set length of time for treatment but Ieso expects patients to receive between four and 12 sessions. Participants will be assessed at the end of treatment and again six months after the study has concluded, to check whether the effects are maintained.

Ieso is working with GPs to locate patients and more information about the study. For details on how to apply, visit https://www.iesohealth.com/en-gb/online-cbt/cbt4diabetes.

The research is conducted with support from Roche Diabetes Care Limited.

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