Health Services for Behavioral Problems in Pediatric Primary Care

J Behav Health Serv Res. 2016 Jul;43(3):396-401. doi: 10.1007/s11414-014-9450-7.


The aim of this research was to explore primary care pediatricians' experiences in delivering behavioral health services in their own practices within the Nebraska context. An online survey was sent to the 154 primary care pediatricians who are members of the Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Questions explored their management of behavioral problems, attitudes, and perceived barriers to providing behavioral health services in their practices. Seventy pediatricians completed the survey (47%). The majority of pediatricians reported seeing substantial numbers of children with behavioral problems. Eighty-five percent believed that most emotional and behavioral complaints could be managed by the pediatrician. Eighty-eight percent believed that the parents would prefer to receive services for their children's behavioral problems in the primary care office. Most felt that their training in mental health issues was inadequate. Pediatricians in this survey feel that pediatric behavioral problems are best managed in the primary care office and perceive that parents also prefer this setting. Improving training in behavioral health in pediatrics is necessary to meet the delivery of much needed behavioral health care to children and families.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy*
  • Child Health Services*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Pediatricians*
  • Pediatrics
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Problem Behavior / psychology*