Provider practices in the primary care behavioral health (pcbh) model: An initial examination in the veterans health administration and united states air force

Jennifer S. Funderburk, Anne C. Dobmeyer, Christopher L. Hunter, Christine O. Walsh, Stephen A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goals of this study were to identify characteristics of both behavioral health providers (BHPs) and the patients seen in a primary care behavioral health (PCBH) model of service delivery using prospective data obtained from BHPs. A secondary objective was to explore similarities and differences between these variables within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and United States Air Force (USAF) primary care clinics. A total of 159 VHA and 23 USAF BHPs, representing almost every state in the United States, completed the study, yielding data from 403 patient appointments. BHPs completed a web-based questionnaire that assessed BHP and setting characteristics, and a separate questionnaire after each patient seen on one day of clinical service. Data demonstrated that there are many similarities between the VHA and USAF BHPs and practices. Both systems tend to use well-trained psychologists as BHPs, had systems that support the BHP being in close proximity to the primary care providers, and have seamless operational elements (i.e., shared record, one waiting room, sameday appointments, and administrative support for BHPs). Comorbid anxiety and depression was the most common presenting problem in both systems, but overall rates were higher in VHA clinics, and patients were significantly more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for mental health conditions. This study provides the first systematic, prospective examination of BHPs and practices within a PCBH model of service delivery in two large health systems with well over 5 years of experience with behavioral health integration. Many elements of the PCBH model were implemented in a manner consistent with the model, although some variability exists within both settings. These data can help guide future implementation and training efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • Integrated behavioral health care
  • Integrated primary care
  • Mental health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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