Jeffrey Cigrang (Committee Chair), Larry James (Committee Member), Sharon Sherlock (Committee Member)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
The availability of behavioral health services within primary care meets the high patient need for mental health care within a familiar setting, which is especially impactful in safety-net settings where patients face higher levels of stress and psychosocial barriers that impact health outcomes (Kamimura et al., 2014). Behavioral health consultants (BHCs) may encounter challenges to successful integration of services, but adapting to the unique clinic environment, assessing needs, and facilitating effect collaboration with providers can lead to greater success (Hunter, Goodie, Oordt, & Dobmeyer, 2017). A needs assessment was conducted with volunteer providers at the safety-net clinic Reach Out of Montgomery County using quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interview) methods. The primary goals of the study were to identify perceptions, needs, and barriers related to collaboration with integrated behavioral health services at the clinic. A review of relevant existing literature is presented to outline the role of BHCs, factors that impact the effective implementation of integrated care, perceptions of providers, and applicability to the safety-net medical setting. Statistical and content analyses were performed, and results were found to be consistent with existing literature. Providers reported a high level of openness and perceived patient benefit related to behavioral health services, but rated BHCs to be significantly more helpful for mental health concerns than medical needs. Recommendations for the clinic and the behavioral health team are then discussed based on these findings.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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