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J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2012 Mar;19(1):105-16. doi: 10.1007/s10880-011-9285-9.

Implementation of primary care-mental health integration services in the Veterans Health Administration: program activity and associations with engagement in specialty mental health services.

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Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Integrated Healthcare, VAWNYHS (116 N), 3495 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215, USA.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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