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October 2015

The Effectiveness of Integrated Care on Pediatric Behavioral Health: Outcomes and Opportunities

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Psychology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Clinical and Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(10):894-896. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1428

In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Asarnow et al1 review randomized clinical trials to evaluate behavioral health outcomes among children and adolescents receiving integrated medical-behavioral health care. The integration of mental or behavioral health services in pediatric primary care is by all accounts a national priority at this time,2 a development for which support has been advocated through individual conceptual and empirical articles.3-5 But Asarnow et al’s1 first-ever systematic analysis of the empirical literature describing and evaluating an array of intervention trials conducted in the pediatric health care setting provides a noteworthy extension of this work that reflects a substantial contribution to the field. Their careful examination of intervention studies provides new knowledge about the initial effectiveness of alternative models for improving behavioral health status in the context of comprehensive pediatric care. I review a few notable features of the scope and methods incorporated in their review and some other topics worthy of further development and evaluation.