What does COMPASS do?
COMPASS uses a cognitive behavioural approach, which is an evidence-based treatment for helping people manage long-term conditions, low mood and anxiety.
The program is made up of 11 online modules which cover topics that our research has shown people with long-term conditions may find difficult, for example managing uncertainty.
Modules contain information, interactive tasks, goal setting and patient stories. The program is tailored to you, to help you get an understanding of the difficulties you may be facing and how to manage them.
At regular points during the program a trained healthcare professional will provide you with support, either by phone or online message.
Can I use COMPASS?
The COMPASS program is currently being tested in seven NHS healthcare services:
- The Kidney Clinic (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Xeroderma Pigmentosum service (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Neurofibromatosis service (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Rheumatology service (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Oral Medicine (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Gastronenterology (Guy’s and St Thomas’)
- Talking Therapies Southwark
We will shortly be partnering with some national charities to launch a COMPASS-hub project – updates to come!
We also plan to roll it out in further services during the next pilot research phase.
How can I access COMPASS?
If you would like to use COMPASS and are registered with a Southwark GP, you can self-refer yourself to Talking Therapies Southwark using the following link: https://slam-iapt.nhs.uk/southwark/welcome-to-southwark-psychological-therapies-service/contact-us/making-an-appointment/
How do I use it?
To access the online program, the healthcare service provides you with a weblink and password. Because it is a web-based program you can access it from any device with an internet connection, e.g. phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
We suggest treating each online module as a treatment session and work through one session per week, but you can log in as often as you would like.
At points during the program you will be asked to complete a few short questionnaires. This lets you and your guide keep track of how you are doing.
How might COMPASS help me?
We have been very fortunate to work with a large group of patient representatives during the development of COMPASS. Here’s what one of them who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) had to say:
“It’s an amazing tool that could help those restricted by mobility, by giving them access to an online system and support that they may not be able to access physically immediately.”
Why is COMPASS important and relevant to people affected by a long-term condition?
“I felt like I was a failure when diagnosed, as if I would be a disappointment to people I know. All I really wanted was someone to tell me it was ok to have such thoughts and the reason behind them. Some people don’t like to tell friends and family their concerns which can enhance symptoms, causing more distress thus putting them in a cycle often feeling like there is no way out. This feels like such a positive project that will strengthen the MS community and give them the confidence and insight to seek help if needed.”
What are the potential benefits of the project?
“It will give people the feeling of independence and set milestones in an achievable environment that may not otherwise be practical. Building confidence can only be a positive step.
The website will also give those who do not want to speak directly about their psychological distress a more gentle introduction to seeking help.”