Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Peggy El-Mallakh

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Patricia Howard

Committee Member

Dr. Lillian Findlay

Abstract

AIM The purpose of this qualitative descriptive research study was to identify and describe primary and mental health provider perspectives, including attitudes and knowledge related to integration of primary and behavioral health care in the outpatient setting. One objective of this project was to gather information from providers in both primary and behavioral health settings to ascertain how they perceive the idea of integrated care. Another objective of this project was to gather information about provider perception of current practice protocols for treatment of patients with comorbid physical and mental health issues, perceived facilitators and barriers to integrated care, and recommendations for future integration of care.

METHODS A qualitative descriptive study was conducted to examine the perceptions of both primary care and behavioral health providers on the implementation of an integrated care model in the outpatient setting.

FINDINGS Participant interviews yielded information about what PC and PMH NPs perceive to be barriers and facilitators to implementation of an integrated health care model in an outpatient setting. Overall, participants identified the need for a change in the current practice model of fragmented services provided in separate treatment delivery systems, and identified several factors that facilitate implementation of an integrated care model.

CONCLUSIONS Unmistakably, a practice change in the way providers treat patients with comorbid medical or mental health disorders is warranted. Further research on how to break down the described barriers in order to achieve successful integration of primary and behavioral health care is needed.

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