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Ethical Challenges Unique to the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Model


The interprofessional nature of the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model invites potential conflicts between different ethical guidelines and principles developed by separate professional disciplines. When the foundational model of care and training on which ethical principles were developed shifts, the assumptions underlying the guidance also shifts, revealing gaps and mismatches. This article reviews the extant literature in this realm, and proposes a more unifying set of ethical guidance for interprofessional, integrated primary care practice. We discuss common ethical dilemmas unique to the PCBH model through case examples, and then apply the newly proposed ethical guideline model to these cases to illustrate how the newly proposed model can be efficient and effective navigating these dilemmas.

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Correspondence to Christine N. Runyan.

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Christine N. Runyan, Stephanie Carter-Henry, and Stacy Ogbeide declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

No animal or human studies were carried out by the authors for this article.

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Runyan, C.N., Carter-Henry, S. & Ogbeide, S. Ethical Challenges Unique to the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Model. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 25, 224–236 (2018).

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  • Primary care behavioral health model
  • Ethical issues in primary care
  • Interprofessional competencies
  • Ethical model