Assessing the Integration of Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care in Colombia


Integration of behavioral health care into primary care can improve health and economic outcomes. This study adapted the Behavioral Health Integration in Medical Care (BHIMC) index to the Colombian context and assessed the baseline level of behavioral health integration in a sample of primary care organizations. The BHIMC was able to detect the capacity to provide integrated behavioral care in Colombian settings. Results indicate a minimal to partial integration level across all sites, and that it is possible to measure the degree of integrated care capacity and identify improvement areas for better behavioral health care provision.

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This research was supported via a grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD, USA, Grant No. 1U19MH109988-01; Multiple Principal Investigators: Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D. and Carlos Gómez-Restrepo, MD). The contents are solely the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NIH or the United States Government.

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Correspondence to Sergio M. Castro.

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All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This research project was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Dartmouth College in the United States of America and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia.

Informed Consent

It is important to note that in this project a treatment intervention was not tested, patients were not interviewed individually, and no personal information or confidential data were requested; instead, clinical and administrative staff were collectively interviewed about the program, and data collection related to the program, not to its staff or subjects. Dartmouth College’s and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana’s IRBs determined that informed consent was not necessary.

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Castro, S.M., Cubillos, L., Uribe-Restrepo, J.M. et al. Assessing the Integration of Behavioral Health Services in Primary Care in Colombia. Adm Policy Ment Health 47, 435–442 (2020).

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  • Primary health care
  • Behavioral health
  • Integrated care
  • International collaboration
  • Substance use disorders treatment