Adoption, Reach, Implementation, and maintenance of a behavioral and mental health assessment in primary care

Alex H. Krist, Siobhan M. Phillips, Roy T. Sabo, Bijal A. Balasubramanian, Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts, Marcia G. Ory, Sallie Beth Johnson, Sherri N. Sheinfeld-Gorin, Paul A. Estabrooks, Debra P. Ritzwoller, Russell E. Glasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Guidelines recommend screening patients for unhealthy behaviours and mental health concerns. Health risk assessments can systematically identify patient needs and trigger care. This study seeks to evaluate whether primary care practices can routinely implement such assessments into routine care.

METHODS As part of a cluster-randomized pragmatic trial, 9 diverse primary care practices implemented My Own Health Report (MOHR)—an electronic or paperbased health behavior and mental health assessment and feedback system paired with counseling and goal setting. We observed how practices integrated MOHR into their workflows, what additional practice staff time it required, and what percentage of patients completed a MOHR assessment (Reach).

RESULTS Most practices approached (60%) agreed to adopt MOHR. How they implemented MOHR depended on practice resources, informatics capacity, and patient characteristics. Three practices mailed patients invitations to complete MOHR on the Web, 1 called patients and completed MOHR over the telephone, 1 had patients complete MOHR on paper in the office, and 4 had staff help patients complete MOHR on the Web in the office. Overall, 3,591 patients were approached and 1,782 completed MOHR (Reach = 49.6%). Reach varied by implementation strategy with higher reach when MOHR was completed by staff than by patients (71.2% vs 30.2%, P <.001). No practices were able to sustain the complete MOHR assessment without adaptations after study completion. Fielding MOHR increased staff and clinician time an average of 28 minutes per visit.

CONCLUSIONS Primary care practices can implement health behavior and mental health assessments, but counseling patients effectively requires effort. Practices will need more support to implement and sustain assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Health behavior
  • Health risk appraisal
  • Mental health
  • Patient reported measures
  • Pragmatic clinical trial
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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