Mental Health Provider Perspectives Regarding Integrated Medical Care for Patients with Serious Mental Illness

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Abstract

Integrated care for medical conditions is essential for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). This qualitative study describes mental health provider perspectives regarding barriers and facilitators of integrated care for patients with SMI. We interviewed providers from a national sample of Veterans Health Administration facilities that scored in the top or bottom percentile in medical care quality. Providers from high-performing sites reported substantial in-person contacts with general medical providers, while providers from low-performing sites reported stigma and limited communication with medical providers as major concerns. Interventions to improve mental health and medical provider communication may facilitate integrated care for persons with SMI.