Promoting earlier access to pediatric behavioral health services with colocated care

Rachel J. Valleley, Ashley Leja, Brandy Clarke, Allison Grennan, Jennifer Burt, Kathryn Menousek, Mindy Chadwell, Tara Sjuts, Rebecca Gathje, Kevin Kupzyk, Kristen Hembree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective:This study aimed to determine whether youth access behavioral health (BH) care earlier (i.e., when problems are less severe) when receiving services in colocated pediatric primary care clinics.Methods:Six primary care clinics in the Midwest with a colocated BH provider participated in this study. Data on number of sessions attended/not attended with the BH provider, BH symptom severity as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist, parent report of length of presenting problem, and improvement ratings were collected and compared for on-site referrals and off-site referrals. Descriptive, independent sample t tests and regression analyses compared those referred from on-site physicians versus off-site referral sources.Results:Results demonstrated that youth receiving BH services at their primary care physician's office accessed services when problems were less severe and had been impacting their functioning for a shorter duration.Conclusion:This study is among the first to explore whether youth receiving BH services in primary care are accessing those services earlier than those who are referred from outside sources, resulting in improved patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-248
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • behavioral health
  • earlier access
  • integrated care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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