To go or not go: Patient preference in seeking specialty mental health versus behavioral consultation within the primary care behavioral health consultation model.

Introduction: Much of behavioral health care takes place within primary care settings rather than in specialty mental health settings. Access to specialty mental health care can be difficult due to limited access to mental health providers and wait times to receive mental health care. The purpose of this study is to determine patient satisfaction with behavioral health consultation visits that take place within the context of the primary care behavioral health consultation model. Patient likelihood to seek out specialty mental health care services if behavioral health consultation services were not provided was also examined. Method: Two primary care clinic systems were examined in this study. The first was a primary care clinic predominately serving low-income patients: 100 individuals participated. The second was primary care in the context of military treatment centers: 539 individuals participated. Results: Results show that 61% of the patients in the low-income primary care clinic would not attend a specialty mental health appointment versus 30% in the military population. Discussion: This study suggests that primary care behavioral health is a patient-centered approach to care and reaches populations that otherwise may not receive behavioral health services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)