Primary Health Care: Potential Home for Family-Focused Preventive Interventions

Am J Prev Med. 2016 Oct;51(4 Suppl 2):S106-18. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.05.014. Epub 2016 Aug 3.


Family-focused prevention programs have been shown to effectively reduce a range of negative behavioral health outcomes but have had limited reach. Three key barriers must be overcome to expand the reach of family-focused prevention programs and thereby achieve a significant public health impact. These barriers are (1) current social norms and perceptions of parenting programs; (2) concerns about the expertise and legitimacy of sponsoring organizations to offer parenting advice; and (3) a paucity of stable, sustainable funding mechanisms. Primary healthcare settings are well positioned to overcome these barriers. Recent changes within health care make primary care settings an increasingly favorable home for family-focused prevention and suggest possibilities for sustainable funding of family-focused prevention programs. This paper discusses the existing advantages of primary care settings and lays out a plan to move toward realizing the potential public health impact of family-focused prevention through widespread implementation in primary healthcare settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Family Therapy / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Parenting
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Preventive Health Services / economics*
  • Primary Health Care / trends*
  • Social Norms
  • United States