Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care for Comorbid Behavioral and Medical Problems

Principal Investigator: Benjamin Littenberg, MD
Sponsor: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

This study us being conducted by the University of Vermont with 40 primary care practices across the country. Behavioral health issues include stress, anxiety, depression, smoking, overeating, physical inactivity, alcohol and drug abuse, and sleep problems. They are major issues, especially when patients also have medical problems such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, or arthritis. The health care system doesn't do a good job of getting the right care to these patients. 

Many medical practices have Behavioral Health (BH) providers at the same location as the medical providers. Other go farther and integrate Behavioral Health into all of their procedures. The purpose of this study is to determine if increased integration, compared to simple co-location, improves patients' health. We also want to see if practices can successfully integrate Behavioral Health services and what types of practices do it the best.