This study explores healthcare professionals' perspectives about the impact of behavioral health integration (BHI) on pediatric primary care delivery in community health centers (CHCs). A concurrent, qualitative-dominant mixed methods empirical study design was utilized, applying semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals at the end of the implementation phase of a 3-year co-development, implementation, and evaluation process. Surveys were also administered at three time points. Via thematic analysis, emergent qualitative themes were mapped onto the Relational Coordination (RC) conceptual framework to triangulate and complement final qualitative results with quantitative results. Interview findings reveal five emergent themes aligning with RC domains. Survey results show that healthcare professionals reported increased behavioral healthcare integration into clinic practice (p = 0.0002) and increased clinic readiness to address behavioral health needs (p = 0.0010). Effective pediatric BHI and care delivery at CHCs may rely on strong professional relationships and communication. Additional research from the patient/caregiver perspective is needed.
© 2022. National Council for Mental Wellbeing.