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The Role of Integrated Primary Care in Increasing Access to Effective Psychotherapies in the Veterans Health Administration.
Possemato K, Shepardson RL, Funderburk JS. The Role of Integrated Primary Care in Increasing Access to Effective Psychotherapies in the Veterans Health Administration. Focus (American Psychiatric Publishing). 2018 Oct 18; 16(4):384-392.
American military veterans have higher rates of psychiatric disorders, and timely access to high-quality mental health treatment in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is a persistent challenge. Integrated primary care (IPC) is one of many strategies implemented by VHA to increase access to care. IPC, including collaborative care and primary care behavioral health services, successfully increases access to initial behavioral health services in primary care (e.g., brief psychotherapies, pharmacotherapy) and continued engagement in specialty mental health services. IPC components that drive increased access include population-based care, response to patient preferences, and team-based care. The state of the evidence for IPC interventions for common behavioral health concerns in primary care (depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol use, tobacco use, and insomnia) is reviewed, with areas for future research and implementation discussed, including how technology can assist IPC services and the importance of incorporating evidence-based psychotherapies into IPC.