Integrated behavioral health and primary care: A common language

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


The field of integrated behavioral health has been around for decades, but until recently in the hands of pioneers in their own particular settings, using their own distinctive language and concepts. That work was generally successful and gathered around it considerable energy in this era of patient-centered medical home and primary care transformation. Mainstream application requires the field to coalesce enough in language and concept to be consistently understood by implementers, health systems, researchers, policymakers, purchasers—and of course patients themselves. Unifying a field with consistently understood concepts and definitions is a normal stage in the development of emerging fields. Inconsistently understood concepts and definitions—including what constitutes the essential functions of integrated behavioral health—have been a practical concern and source of confusion in the field. Even authors writing about different topics in the same book have encountered such ambiguities and confusions. The response to this practical problem was to employ published methods from the field of Descriptive Psychology to create a consensus lexicon or operational definition for behavioral health integrated in primary care. This work sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality—on behalf of the field—resulted in a lexicon described here and employed by chapter authors to move toward using consistently understood terms and functional descriptions of integrated behavioral health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntegrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care
Subtitle of host publicationEvaluating the Evidence, Identifying the Essentials
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781461468899
ISBN (Print)9781461468882
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.


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