Date: 10 Jun 2008

A Common Factors Approach to Improving the Mental Health Capacity of Pediatric Primary Care

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To expand the mental health service capacity of pediatric primary care, we ask whether there are evidence-based skills to allow providers to 1) immediately begin treatment for children with emotional and behavioral problems while diagnostic procedures are being pursued, and 2) offer evidence-based care to children who do not meet criteria for a specific diagnosis. We discuss why the epidemiology of child mental health problems poses difficulties for disorder-specific mental health interventions, and review evidence that “common factors” contributing to the outcome of mental health treatments define a core set of skills that primary care providers might use to complement disorder-specific interventions.