The clinical effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural therapy intervention in a work setting: a 5-year retrospective analysis of outcomes

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute


Background: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance recommends Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as part of multidisciplinary occupational mental health interventions for people with long-term or recurrent short-term sickness absence from work (NICE, 2009). Despite this, there is a paucity of data for both randomised trials for CBT and literature that supports the transferability of CBT into occupational environments.

Aims: This service evaluation aimed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of CBT by analysing data from a partnership scheme between a local authority and a local heath board using a routine employee population.

Methods: A clinical cohort of 81 employees referred through the partnership scheme completed CBT over a 5-year period via a CBT nurse therapist. A sample of 76 employees was included in the evaluation who completed pre-/post-measures to establish outcome. Of these, 30 were followed up at a 3-year point, completing the same measures.

Results: Each of the clinical measures yielded significant outcomes at 95% confidence intervals, and large effect sizes using Cohen's d both at post-test and follow-up. No significant difference was shown between post-treatment and follow-up outcomes. CBT was demonstrated to be clinically effective within an occupational mental health setting.

Conclusions: In conclusion, partnership schemes with a focus on mental health between public sector agencies can have a positive outcome for the funding agency as well as individual employees.

Keywords: CBT nurse therapist; cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); occupational mental health; partnership schemes; workplace intervention.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


J Res Nurs