Integrated behavioral health care (IBHC) is a model of mental health care service delivery that seeks to reduce stigma and service utilization barriers by embedding mental health professionals into the primary care team. This study explored whether IBHC service referrals, utilization, and outcomes were comparable for Latinos and non-Latino White primary care patients. Data for the current study were collected from 793 consecutive patients (63.8% Latino; M age = 29.02 years [SD = 17.96]; 35.1% under 18 years; 65.3% women; 54.3% uninsured) seen for behavioral health services in 2 primary care clinics during a 10.5 month period. The most common presenting concerns were depression (21.6%), anxiety (18.5%), adjustment disorder (13.0%), and externalizing behavior problems (9.8%). Results revealed that while Latino patients had significantly lower self-reported psychiatric distress, significantly higher clinician-assigned global assessment of functioning scores, and fewer received a psychiatric diagnosis at their initial visit compared to non-Latino White patients, both groups had comparable utilization rates, comparable and clinically significant improvements in symptoms (Cohen’s d values > .50), and expressed high satisfaction with integrated behavioral services. These data provide preliminary evidence suggesting integration of behavioral health services into primary care clinics may help reduce mental health disparities for Latinos.
Bridges, A. J., Andrews, A. R., 3rd, Villalobos, B. T., Pastrana, F. A., Cavell, T. A., & Gomez, D. (2014). Does Integrated Behavioral Health Care Reduce Mental Health Disparities for Latinos? Initial Findings. Journal of Latina/o psychology, 2(1), 37–53. https://doi.org/10.1037/lat0000009
Journal of Latinx Psychology