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Primary care medical provider attitudes regarding mental health and behavioral medicine in integrated and non-integrated primary care practice settings

Primary care medical provider attitudes regarding mental health and behavioral medicine in integrated and non-integrated primary care practice settings

Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 19(4): 364-375

Primary care medical providers (PCPs) have become de facto providers of services for the management of both mental and chronic illnesses. Although some reports suggest that PCPs favor having Behavioral Health colleagues provide behavioral health services in primary care, others demonstrate this view is necessarily not universal. We examined attitudes regarding behavioral health services among PCPs in practices that offer such services via onsite behavioral health providers (n = 31) and those that do not (n = 62). We compared referral rates and perceived need for and helpfulness of behavioral health colleagues in treating mental health/behavioral medicine issues. In both samples, perceived need was variable (5-100%), as were PCPs' views of their own competence in mental health/behavioral medicine diagnosis and treatment. Interestingly, neither sample rated perceived access to behavioral health providers exceptionally high. Referral rates and views about the helpfulness of behavioral health services, except in relation to depression and anxiety, were lower than expected. These results suggest a need for increased collaboration with and education of PCPs about the roles and skills of behavioral health professionals.

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Accession: 055175273

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22481239

DOI: 10.1007/s10880-011-9283-y

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