Implementation of primary care-mental health integration services in the veterans health administration: Program activity and associations with engagement in specialty mental health services

Laura O. Wray, Benjamin R. Szymanski, Lisa K. Kearney, John F. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes the status of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) services implementation and presents an assessment of associations between receipt of PC-MHI services and likelihood of receiving a second specialty mental health (SMH) appointment following an initial SMH encounter. The total PC-MHI service recipients and encounters/month rose substantially between October 2007 and April 2011. Adjusting for important covariates, the likelihood of receiving a second SMH encounter within 3 months of an index SMH appointment was 1.37 times greater among individuals who had received a PC-MHI encounter within 3 months of the initial SMH appointment. Implementation of VHA PC-MHI services has substantially increased VHA capacity to deliver mental health services in primary care and findings indicate that PC-MHI services are associated with greater engagement in SMH treatment. Implementation of VHA PC-MHI services is progressing with new technical assistance strategies being deployed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Engagement
  • Mental health
  • Primary care
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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