Provider and Staff Perceptions and Experiences Implementing Behavioral Health Integration in Six Low-Income Health Care Organizations
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Behavioral health integration (BHI) is a proven, effective practice for addressing the joint behavioral health and medical health needs of vulnerable populations. As part of the New Orleans Charitable Health Fund (NOCHF) program, this study addressed a gap in literature to better understand factors that impact the implementation of BHI by analyzing perceptions and practices among staff at integrating organizations. Using a mixed-method design, quantitative results from the Levels of Integration Measure (LIM), a survey tool for assessing staff perceptions of BHI in primary care settings (n=86), were analyzed alongside qualitative results from in-depth interviews with staff (n=27). Findings highlighted the roles of strong leadership, training, and process changes on staff collaboration, relationships, and commitment to BHI. This study demonstrates the usefulness of the LIM in conjunction with in-depth interviews as an assessment tool for understanding perceptions and organizational readiness for BHI implementation.
KeywordsBehavioral health integration Integrated care Primary care Behavioral health Provider perceptions Measuring integration Program implementation Mixed methods evaluation
This research was supported by the New Orleans Charitable Health Fund. The authors would like to thank Jeff Capobianco, MA, PhD, from the National Council for Behavioral Health and Lisanne Brown, PhD, for reviewing the article; Caitlin Evrard, MPH, Nilima Mehta, MPH, Alex Loizias, MSW, and Emily Costello, MSW, for assisting with data collection; and Taslim van Hattum, MSW, MPH, Sarah Gillen, MPH, and Joe Kimbrell, MSW, MPH, for their support.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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