We want to provide people with long-term conditions with the support they need to manage the challenges they may experience. We believe that it is important to treat physical and mental health together, to live well.

We all experience difficulties in everyday life, but having one or more long-term conditions can make some things more difficult. Having a long-term condition sometimes means making changes or taking a new path. Understandably this can make us feel a whole range of emotions, for example, sadness, frustration, stress, anger and worry. If this sounds like something you are experiencing, then COMPASS can help.

What evidence is COMPASS based on?

COMPASS was developed using the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) Complex Intervention Development Framework. To develop a program like COMPASS, the MRC recommends that researchers gather all existing research evidence in this area. Experts and patients are then asked for their views on the evidence. The COMPASS development team did exactly that and found:

  • Cognitive-behavioural treatments (which explore health related thoughts and behaviours) are recommended for people with long-term conditions. These help support people to manage their long-term condition and the emotional challenges that are often experienced as a result of the illness (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence, 2009).
  • Evidence is often based on treatments for depression and anxiety and does not explore the relationship between physical and mental health. This means that treatments do not necessarily take into account how having a long-term condition specifically affects your mood.
  • We developed a theory to explain the complex processes that can trigger difficulties and keep them going when trying to adjust to living with long-term condition .
  • We used our theory to develop a specific program to help people manage both the emotional and physical side of having a long-term condition.

The result is COMPASS!

The process does not end there though – we want to keep making COMPASS better. You can help by providing feedback for us on the web platform when you are using the program.

Funding

COMPASS was developed as part of the Resource for Electronic Development of Interventions for Talking Therapies in Long-Term Conditions (RE-EDITT) project. It is funded by King’s Health Partners Mind & Body, which has placed integrating mental and physical healthcare at the top of the agenda in local hospital trusts. The team has close links with the King’s Health Partners Southwark and Lambeth Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (LTC) services.

You can find out more here: https://www.kingshealthpartners.org/our-work/mind-and-body/our-projects/reeditt-compass

The COMPASS project has also recently been accepted on to the King’s Commercialisation Institute (KCI) “Health Accelerator”. KCI is providing funding and commercial support to extend the feasibility work to more services. We will be gathering early stage quantitative data on effectiveness, testing software robustness and preparing for commercialisation, to ensure that COMPASS is scalable and sustainable in the long-term.​

More information can be found here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/commercialisation/kings-health-accelerator