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Patterns of Psychologists’ Interprofessional Collaboration Across Clinical Practice Settings

Abstract

Healthcare increasingly emphasizes collaborative treatment by multidisciplinary teams. This is the first research focusing on psychologists’ participation in team-based care, the mix of professionals with whom psychologists collaborate, and how these collaborations vary across practice settings. Data are from 1607 respondents participating in the American Psychological Association Center for Workforce Studies’ 2015 on-line Survey of Psychology Health Service Providers. Practice settings differed markedly in systemic organizational support for interprofessional collaboration and in psychologists’ participation in collaborative activities. Psychologists in individual private practice reported least support for and least occurrence of interprofessional collaboration. Psychologists’ collaboration with non-behavioral health professionals, such as non-psychiatrist physicians and nurses, was more frequent in general hospitals and VA medical centers. Across settings, greater contact with another health profession was generally associated with psychologists being more confident about working with that profession. However, for work with psychiatrists, that association was attenuated. A collaborative practice model is presented for psychotherapy patients also treated by physicians or other professionals who manage a patient’s psychotropic medication.

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Acknowledgements

The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted the 2015 APA Survey of Psychology Health Service Providers, the project that provided the data for this article. The authors thank Luona Lin and Peggy Christidis from the APA Center for Workforce Studies for contributions to conducting the survey and producing the technical report of survey results. We also thank Nicole Hayes for review, Zeeshan Butt for editorial input, and the other members of the Research Committee of the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC) for their contributions. Special thanks to James Paulson of Old Dominion University for statistical consultation. Portions of this article were previously presented at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Health Workforce Research Conferences of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the 2015 and 2017 Conferences of the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (APAHC).

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Correspondence to Gerald Leventhal.

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Conflict of interest

Gerald Leventhal, Karen E. Stamm, Jason J. Washburn, Cindee Rolston, John A. Yozwiak, Auntré Hamp, Elizabeth D. Cash, Wendy L. Ward, Barry A. Hong, Amy M. Williams, and William N. Robiner declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Participation was voluntary and participants’ identity and responses remained confidential. All potential participants were provided with information about the purpose of the survey before deciding whether to take part.

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The study and procedures were reviewed in advance and approved by the Office of Research Ethics of the American Psychological Association. All procedures were in accordance with ethical standards such as those enunciated in the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Leventhal, G., Stamm, K.E., Washburn, J.J. et al. Patterns of Psychologists’ Interprofessional Collaboration Across Clinical Practice Settings. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 28, 844–867 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-021-09802-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-021-09802-3

Keywords

  • Integrated behavioral health
  • Collaborative team-based care
  • Interprofessional collaboration and training
  • Health psychology workforce
  • Collaborative private practice