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Addressing the Need for Behavioral Health Information in Hospitals and Primary Care Facilities

Posted May 22, 2017 in Content

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Increasingly, primary care providers and hospital personnel are caring for patients with mental illnesses or substance-related issues due to several factors. As providers work to respond to this increase, improving access to training and information is an important strategy. Organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) publish information that supports hospitals and primary care facilities’ efforts to inform and train staff.


“The rate of emergency department (ED) visits per 100,000 population related to mental and substance use disorders (M/SUDs) increased substantially between 2006 and 2013,” according to the December 2016 report, “Trends in Emergency Department Visits Involving Mental and Substance Use Disorders, 2006-2013.” The report, published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, states that “the increase over these 7 years was higher for mental disorders (55.5 percent for depression, anxiety or stress reactions and 52.0 percent for psychoses or bipolar disorders) than for substance use disorders (37.0 percent).”

When the American Hospital Association (AHA) conducted a comprehensive review of literature related to the behavioral health workforce, it reported opposing trends in healthcare. Simply put, the need for behavioral healthcare is increasing and the supply of trained providers is decreasing. These findings underscore the need for ongoing dialog on the topic of mental health care information and training. The report‘s authors concluded that, “in order to meet the growing need and demand for behavioral health care, hospitals and health systems must rethink, then redesign, the delivery of behavioral health care across the care continuum.”

Organizations such as the APA understand this need. The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 115,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members. The APA, whose mission is “to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives,” is responding to the need to equip primary care and urgent care practitioners with strategies for caring for patients with behavioral health issues.

APA publications such as Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care: Step-By-Step Guidance for Assessment and Intervention, found in the PsycBOOKS® database, are written to support primary care practitioners in their efforts to care for patients with mental illness or substance issues. The chapter, “Common behavioral and cognitive interventions in primary care: Moving out of the specialty mental health clinic,” lays out nine evidence-based interventions that can be conducted during a 30-minute appointment.

An article from the APA-published journal Families, Systems, & Health, available in the PsycARTICLES® database, entitled, “Integrated Behavioral Health Training for Primary Care Clinicians: Five Lessons Learned From a Negative Study, Families, Systems, & Health” concludes, “There are five lessons to learn from this negative study: learning outcomes should match learning activities, residents benefit from direct observation, longitudinal data help measure change over time, collaborative care curriculum evaluation deserves collaborative partnership with other training sites, and evaluating the resident and the behavioral health provider offers a systems viewpoint and new insights.”

The APA publishes six complementary resources for students, faculty, and clinicians all indexed using the APA’s controlled vocabulary, and covering publications from more than 50 countries and in 29 languages:

  1. PsycINFO®, the world’s largest abstract resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.
  2. PsycBOOKS, the APA’s electronic library of full-text books, including the entire reference book series, APA Handbooks in Psychology®.
  3. PsycARTICLES, full-text, peer-reviewed APA journal articles.
  4. PsycTESTS®, covering thousands of research instruments and their psychometric properties.
  5. PsycCRITIQUES®, with assessments of books, films and videos.
  6. PsycEXTRA®, which includes grey literature.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of PsycINFO. EBSCO has proudly partnered with the APA for many years and offers these databases on EBSCOhost®, with APA full-text resources available on EBSCO Discovery Service™. Request a Free Trial of Databases from the APA.


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