Identification and management of behavioral/mental health problems in primary care pediatrics: Perceived strengths, challenges, and new delivery models

Deborah Winders Davis, Sarah M. Honaker, V. Faye Jones, P. Gail Williams, Frederick Stocker, Elaine Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


This study describes the experiences of and barriers for pediatricians in Kentucky in providing behavioral/mental health (B-MH) services in primary care settings. These data will serve as a foundation for improving service delivery. An online survey was completed by 70 pediatricians. Descriptive data are presented. More than 90% of the respondents said that they saw at least one patient a month with 1 of 10 specific B-MH diagnoses. Physicians' comfort with diagnosing and treating disorders varied widely by diagnosis, age-group, and drug classification. Major barriers to providing optimal care were inaccessibility of mental health professionals for consultation and referral, lack of communication, and lack of knowledge. Respondents were more likely to favor consultation and co-location models over an integration model of care delivery. Overall, the authors found that pediatricians are dealing with patients with B-MH problems for which they may not have been adequately trained. Communication and collaboration needs were identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-982
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012



  • behavior
  • mental health
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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