Objective: Mental health concerns are common in pediatric primary care, but practitioners report low levels of comfort managing them. A primary care intervention addressing organizational and individual factors was developed to improve the management of common mental health conditions. Methods: Twenty-nine practices participated in a statewide learning collaborative over 18 months. On-site training was used to teach communication and brief intervention skills and develop an organizational context supportive of mental health. Clinician confidence was measured pre- and postintervention. Medicaid claims data were used to estimate the intervention’s effects on identification of mental health conditions and prescribing practices. Results: Mean clinician confidence scores increased by 20% (95% confidence interval [CI]=15% to 25%), from 2.92 at baseline to 3.55 postintervention. In the first month of the preintervention year, 6.65% of patients with an office visit had at least one visit for a mental health condition, rising to 9% postintervention; this trend was driven by detection and treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Rates of prescribing ADHD medication to patients with visits for ADHD increased by 0.12 percentage points per month (CI=0.02 to 0.22, p=0.022). Rates of prescribing second-generation antipsychotics to all patients with office visits decreased by 0.014 percentage points per month (CI=–.03 to –.00, p=0.028), relative to preintervention trends. Conclusions: This study suggests that a multicomponent intervention addressing individual staff and organizational factors together can promote identification and treatment of child mental health conditions in primary care. Future research is required to better understand the core components, impact on health outcomes, and sustainability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health