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Hundt NE, Yusuf ZI, Amspoker AB, Nagamoto HT, Kim B, Boykin DM, Smith TL. Improving the transition of patients with mental health disorders back to primary care: A protocol for a partnered, mixed-methods, stepped-wedge implementation trial. Contemporary clinical trials. 2021 Jun 1; 105:106398.
The current study protocol regards a partnered, mixed-methods, cluster-randomized stepped wedge trial of the implementation and effectiveness of the FLOW program. FLOW (not an acronym) is a collection of resources and strategies to assist in determining which recovered or stabilized specialty mental health (SMH) patients should transition back to primary care (PC) and tools to make the transition seamless. Transitioning appropriate patients to PC can increase access and timeliness of mental health care for newly referred mental health patients. Nine sites in one US region will be randomized to one of three waves in which they will receive implementation-facilitation to implement the FLOW program. Primary outcomes will include the reach of FLOW, provider adoption of the program, effectiveness in increasing access in SMH, implementation fidelity, and maintenance over time. A mixed-methods analysis of implementation factors associated with implementation success will also be conducted, including the following as possible predictors: staffing ratios, site resources, leadership and provider support for the program, and local champion characteristics. This study''s results will provide evidence for the effectiveness of FLOW in increasing access and may provide generalizable information about characteristics of sites that are likely to be successful with implementing similar programs.