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Is your IAPT service making the most of ADSMs?

ADSMs can improve data quality and impact on recovery rates - with the national IAPT team highlighting their importance for outcomes, are you using ADSMs correctly?


What are ADSMs?

ADSM stands for Anxiety Disorder Specific Measure. They are sensitive measures of the severity of particular anxiety disorders and are seen as an important way of ensuring the right treatment is provided to patients.

2017 has seen a renewed focus on the impact that ADSMs can have on patient recovery and as a result, on the service recovery rates and accuracy of the IAPT data submitted to NHS Digital.

NHS England's latest IAPT Manual sets out the importance of ADSMs as below:

Section 5.1.4

“As part of the assessment process it is important for the clinician to ensure the appropriate outcome measure has been selected. If the problem descriptor is linked to a particular anxiety disorder specific measure (ADSM) or medically unexplained symptom (MUS) measure it is essential that the relevant measure is given at every treatment session..."

Section 6.2.1

“IAPT guidance now recommends that clinicians also administer a well validated measure that is specific to the symptoms of these particular disorders, if they are the main focus of treatment. This ensures that clinicians are able to focus on relieving the symptoms that most distress people. Inspection of item-by-item responses on ADSMs can be particularly informative.

NHS Digital use the PHQ-9 and the relevant ADSM to calculate recovery and reliable improvement, when matched with the problem descriptor.”

In light of the above, the national IAPT team have requested that ADSMs are set as mandatory in PCMIS, to improve data quality and recovery rates.

How are PCMIS helping?

We are liaising with the national IAPT team and NHS Digital, working on ways we can support the completion of ADSMs within our system:

ADSMs Dashboard | A new reporting area to provide visibility around completion rates.

Mandatory measure | All revelant ADSMs will be set to mandatory within PCMIS, To encourage their completion at each and every contact we've added helpful prompts for clinicians.

Patient portal | Our development team have been under the hood looking at ways our online patient portal can better facilitate the completion of these important measures. More news on this in 2018.

A more detailed overview of the changes happening within PCMIS has been sent to our IAPT client services.

Further reading

The IAPT manual explains the importance of ADSMs within the context of wider IAPT treatments.

David M Clarke's ADSMs paper has some interesting research and evidence around their importance.



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