Assertive Community Treatment Collaboration with Community Medical Providers


Individuals with serious mental illnesses experience significant barriers to accessing medical care. Assertive Community Treatment teams serve these individuals using a multidisciplinary approach in the community, helping ACT participants overcome the barriers to accessing satisfactory physical healthcare and can be key to primary and behavioral healthcare integration for individuals with SMI. In this study, qualitative interviews were conducted with ACT teams and medical providers to evaluate how they collaborate and coordinate care for ACT participants. Successful strategies for coordination involved organizational support, advocacy, negotiating levels of care, and coordinated treatment planning. While ACT teams discussed many successful strategies, a more standardized approach to community partner collaboration with medical stakeholders is suggested.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Author information




Study conception and design were conducted by Alyssa Kerlinger and Heidi Herinckx. Data collection was done by Alyssa Kerlinger, and all authors contributed to analysis. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Alyssa Kerlinger, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alyssa Kerlinger.

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Conflicts of interest

 Alyssa Kerlinger and Heidi Herinckx are employees of the state technical assistance center that is funded through the Oregon Health Authority to implement ACT in Oregon. Karen Cellarius has no potential conflicts of interest.

Data Availabilityl

Raw qualitative data cannot be shared due to ethical restrictions.

Ethical Approval

This qualitative study was reviewed by Portland State University’s institutional review board for human subjects’ research who explicitly conveyed that in this particular instance the study does not require Human Research Protection Program review under the federal regulations as the project does not meet the federal definitions of research with human subjects per 45 CFR Part 46.

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Kerlinger, A., Herinckx, H. & Cellarius, K. Assertive Community Treatment Collaboration with Community Medical Providers. J. Psychosoc. Rehabil. Ment. Health (2021).

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  • Collaboration
  • Community-Based Organizations
  • Community Practice
  • Community Development
  • Service Coordination
  • Assertive Community Treatment
  • Physical Healthcare
  • Behavioral Health Home