Examining the utility of behavioral health integration in well-child visits: implications for rural settings

Fam Syst Health. 2014 Mar;32(1):20-30. doi: 10.1037/a0035121.


The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of integrating behavioral health services into well-child visits in underserved, remote, and/or fringe areas. Specifically, the following were examined: the structure of the well-child visit for standard care in comparison to when a behavioral health provider was integrated into the visit and the effect of integrating a behavioral health provider on behavioral health topics covered and parent satisfaction. Participants were 94 caregivers of children attending well-child visits. Group differences were examined for participants in well-child visits with a behavioral health provider and participants in a standard well-child visit. Findings suggest a statistically significant increase in caregiver-rated perception for the number of topics covered with the integration of a behavioral health provider in the well-child visits. No significant effects of caregiver-rated helpfulness or satisfaction were observed. Implications for the findings and future research directions are discussed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Rural Population