Behavioral health interventions being implemented in a VA primary care system

Jennifer S. Funderburk, Dawn E. Sugarman, Allison K. Labbe, Amy Rodrigues, Stephen A. Maisto, Bruce Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The integration of behavioral health and primary care has received much attention in the literature. Behavioral health providers (BHPs) in integrated settings are faced with different treatment constraints than those who work in specialty mental health. The existing literature focuses on what BHPs should do in primary care settings; however, little research exists specifying what BHPs are actually doing. This study provides a glimpse into what types of interventions BHPs are using, and what types of patients they are seeing, in primary care. A chart review was conducted of patients (N = 180) seen by BHPs in five Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. Depression was the most common diagnosis, while less common presenting problems included substance abuse/dependence, psychosis, and bipolar disorder. Common interventions used were medical management, psycho-education, elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and supportive psychotherapy. Future research should examine the efficacy of brief interventions in primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Behavioral health
  • Integrated healthcare
  • Interventions
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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