Objective To assess the availability of on-site mental health professionals (MHPs) in primary care; to examine practice/pediatrician characteristics associated with on-site MHPs; and to determine whether the presence of on-site MHPs is related to pediatricians' comanaging or more frequently identifying, treating/managing, or referring mental health (MH) problems. Methods Analyses included American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) members who participated in an AAP Periodic Survey in 2013 and who practiced general pediatrics (n = 321). Measures included sociodemographics, practice characteristics, questions about on-site MHPs, comanagement of MH problems, and pediatricians' behaviors in response to 5 prevalent MH problems. Weighted univariate, bivariate, and multivariable analyses were performed. Results Thirty-five percent reported on-site MHPs. Practice characteristics (medical schools, universities, health maintenance organizations, <100 visits per week, <80% of patients privately insured) and interactions of practice location (urban) with visits and patient insurance were associated with on-site MHPs. There was no overall association between colocation and comanagement, or whether pediatricians usually identified, treated/managed, or referred 5 common child MH problems. Among the subset of pediatricians who reported comanaging, there was an association with comanagement when the on-site MHP was a child psychiatrist, substance abuse counselor, or social worker. Conclusions On-site MHPs are more frequent in settings where low-income children are served and where pediatricians train. Pediatricians who comanage MH problems are more likely to do so when the on-site MHP is a child psychiatrist, substance abuse counselor, or social worker. Overall, on-site MHPs were not associated with comanagement or increased likelihood of pediatricians identifying, treating/managing, or referring children with 5 common child MH problems.
- child psychosocial problems
- on-site mental health
- primary care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health