The Coventry University Depression and Anxiety Support (CUDAS) tool has now been launched. The project was funded by the Higher Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) West Midlands and was led by Prof Gill Furze of the Health and Life Sciences (HLS) faculty at Coventry University.
The CUDAS tool is designed to support clinicians in the assessment of anxiety and depression in patients with long-term physical health conditions. The tool also provides onward referral recommendations (for example, to the local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies [IAPT] service, or to the crisis home resolution team), depending on how the patient scores on the in-built questionnaires. The CUDAS also includes a tutorial video, which guides the clinician through the assessment process, and tackles issues such as assessing for risk.
We conducted interviews with specialist nursing staff regarding the content, usability and clinical utility of the tool. Results were positive regarding the design and content of the tool. Several other major themes emerged, including the necessity of screening for anxiety/depression, why assessment may not currently occur, and how the tool better facilitates the assessment and referral process.
The Association of Respiratory Nurses have also enthusiastically offered to badge the CUDAS tool, as it supports the assessment and onward referral of their patients, should they be experiencing emotional difficulties alongside their physical health conditions.
The CUDAS is free to access, and is now in the public domain. It is available in paper format, or as a web-app, by following the link: http://cudas.celecoventry.co.uk/. A video tutorial is also available to help new users use the CUDAS.