Integrated primary care and behavioral health services for Latinos: a blueprint and research agenda.

School of Social Welfare, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley 94703, USA.
Social Work in Health Care (Impact Factor: 0.62). 02/2008; 47(4):438-54. DOI: 10.1080/00981380802344480
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Disparities in Latino utilization of mental health services have been documented for some years. Factors such as stigma, low rates of health insurance, paucity of culturally competent providers, and linguistic inaccessibility have contributed to this underutilization. The documented tendency of many Latinos to experience the mind and body as a unified whole, often referred to as "non-dualism"; provides a unique opportunity to address these disparities in utilization. This article advocates a specific model of engagement of Latinos into a continuum of needed behavioral health services via the primary care clinic, and suggests a variety of clinical and administrative outcome measures for evaluating the effectiveness of the model. The model centers on the inclusion of a behavioral health specialist who is "nested" within the primary care team. The preparation and perspectives of clinically trained social workers make them ideal for this role.

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