Long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms

Two thirds of people with a long-term physical health condition also have a co-morbid mental health problem, mostly anxiety and depression. In addition, up to 70% of people with medically unexplained symptoms also have depression and/or anxiety disorders. These common mental health disorders are detectable and treatable.

As set out in Implementing the five year forward view for mental health and supported by the NHS Long Term Plan, access to IAPT services for adults and older adults with common mental health problems will continue to expand, with a focus on those with long-term conditions. By 2024 a total of 1.9 million people with anxiety disorders or depression will be able to access NICE-approved IAPT services.


  • consensus statement has been developed by national clinical leaders setting out the key characteristics of integrated IAPT services. NHS England is working to support new services.
  • competence framework for psychological interventions with people with persistent physical health problems.