Family Medicine Physicians’ Perspectives Regarding Rural Behavioral Health Care: Informing Ideas for Increasing Access to High-Quality Services

Emily Jordan Jensen, Tai Mendenhall, Catherine Futoransky, Kirby Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Primary care settings often function as the front lines for behavioral health services in rural areas. The lack of formal behavioral health care in rural areas is also well documented. Rural family practice physicians were interviewed regarding the state of behavioral health care in their communities and their ideas for increasing access to quality care. Thirteen family practice physicians in rural locations participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed following a phenomenological design. Physicians described a lack of quality behavioral health services and challenges for integrating and collaborating with those that do exist. Participants also described the changing role of stigma, service delivery strategies that are currently working, and the unique role primary care plays in rural behavioral health care. Several ideas for increasing access to and efficacy of services are discussed; these ideas are informative for future research and interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-565
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Volume48
Issue number4
Early online dateApr 6 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, National Council for Behavioral Health.

Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • Family medicine
  • Integrated care
  • Phenomenology
  • Qualitative methods
  • Rural health
  • Rural mental health

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