Implementation of primary care-mental health integration services in the Veterans Health Administration: program activity and associations with engagement in specialty mental health services

J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2012 Mar;19(1):105-16. doi: 10.1007/s10880-011-9285-9.


This paper describes the status of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) services implementation and presents an assessment of associations between receipt of PC-MHI services and likelihood of receiving a second specialty mental health (SMH) appointment following an initial SMH encounter. The total PC-MHI service recipients and encounters/month rose substantially between October 2007 and April 2011. Adjusting for important covariates, the likelihood of receiving a second SMH encounter within 3 months of an index SMH appointment was 1.37 times greater among individuals who had received a PC-MHI encounter within 3 months of the initial SMH appointment. Implementation of VHA PC-MHI services has substantially increased VHA capacity to deliver mental health services in primary care and findings indicate that PC-MHI services are associated with greater engagement in SMH treatment. Implementation of VHA PC-MHI services is progressing with new technical assistance strategies being deployed.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs