Integrated Care

What Is Integrated Behavioral Health Care?

Behavioral health problems such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol or substance use disorders are among the most common and disabling health conditions worldwide, collectively robbing millions of their chance to lead healthy and productive lives. Integrated care programs work to address the problems of access and quality in mental health care by providing both medical and mental health care in primary care and other clinical or hospital settings. Offering mental health treatments in primary care is convenient for patients, can reduce the stigma associated with treatment for mental disorders, builds on existing provider-patient relationships, and can help improve care for the millions of patients who have both medical and mental disorders.

More than 80 randomized controlled trials have shown collaborative care, a kind of integrated care, to be more effective than usual care, further substantiated by several meta-analyses of the evidence, including a 2012 Cochrane Summary that reviewed 79 randomized controlled trials and 24,308 patients worldwide.

To learn more about the collaborative care evidence base, please visit the University of Washington AIMS Center website.