Perceptions of the Implementation of Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration in 3 Community Health Centers

Abstract

Pediatric behavioral health integration (BHI) represents a promising approach to address unmet child mental health need but little research exists to guide BHI implementation. Through in-depth interviews with 38 professionals involved in a comprehensive pediatric BHI initiative at 3 community health centers, we explored perceptions of the impact of BHI on clinical practice, and facilitators and barriers to BHI implementation. Professionals identified 2 overarching themes about the impact of BHI on clinical practice (greater interdisciplinary collaboration/communication and enhanced provider wellness); 5 themes about facilitators of BHI (staff buy-in for BHI, leadership support, staff belonging to the same team culturally and/or structurally, co-location with close physical proximity, and data-driven quality improvement); and 5 themes about barriers to BHI (inadequate clinician staffing, insufficient space, limited provider time, billing/reimbursement issues, and care coordination challenges). Future pediatric BHI efforts may consider these findings to develop strategies to promote facilitators and reduce barriers during implementation. 

Citation 

Fong, H., Tamene, M., Morley, D. S., Morris, A., Estela, M. G., Singerman, A., & Bair-Merritt, M. H. (2019). Perceptions of the Implementation of Pediatric Behavioral Health Integration in 3 Community Health Centers. Clinical Pediatrics. 2019 Oct;58(11-12):1201-1211. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922819867454