How to improve the health and well-being of children and teens? Integrated care, according to a new meta-analysis recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. Integrated care, also called collaborative care, provides both traditional medical care and behavioral health care to a patient within the same primary care setting. From the meta-analysis:

"As predicted, our results indicate the strongest effects for collaborative care interventions, with a mean d = 0.63, reflecting a 73% probability that a randomly selected youth would experience better outcomes after receiving collaborative care than a randomly selected youth receiving usual care."

 

If you work in primary care, how do you begin to implement integrated care within your practice? The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has several  courses providing the basics of integrated care, the obstacles, and successful models.

 

What if you want to shift your practice toward integrated but do not have the resources currently?  A first step would be to shift your practice to provide care through a trauma informed lens. This means understanding trauma can be both a medical and psychological event for children and families. When you provide trauma informed care, you can reduce the impact of difficult or frightening illness diagnoses, injuries, or painful procedures, as well as help children and families cope with emotional reactions to illness and injury.  Trauma informed care provides a framework for care in primary care settings before, during, and after the shift to an integrated care model.

 

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