Mental and Behavioral Health
PCORI Answers Critical Questions
PCORI funds studies to help patients and those who care for them answer a range of questions about mental health, such as:
Clinician: I have patients with both medical and behavioral problems. Would integrating a psychologist or social worker into my clinic staff improve patients’ quality of life more than providing patients with access to an offsite specialist would?
Caregiver: How might working with a peer coach or counselor in addition to our pediatrician help achieve the best possible care for my child’s mood and behavior problems?
Care Manager: I work with patients who have untreated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or bipolar disorder and live in rural areas. Would adding a telehealth component to my patients’ primary care improve their mental health more than virtual care on its own?
Study Results that Support Better-Informed Decisions
People with depression who live in areas with fewer care resources had more positive long-term effects from participating in a coalition-based approach to care, compared with those in a program that offered staff training by experts in depression care. Under a coalition-based approach to care, clinicians with expertise in depression care and community members work together to train staff who provide depression care.
In a group of 110 Latinx patients with serious mental illness (SMI) in an integrated care setting, those assigned a peer navigator–compared with those who were not assigned one–reported better outcomes, including quality of life and control over their overall health. Peer navigators can guide and support patients and help them overcome barriers to care.
Latino children with mental illness are half as likely to get mental health care as non-Latino white children. This study created an education program to teach Latino parents skills to help their children get the mental health care they need. Researchers found that the educational program improved parents’ activation skills as well as their skills for working with their children’s school systems.
Mental and Behavioral Health Study Spotlights
Clinicians often prescribe antipsychotics for children and adolescents diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders. New evidence shows the benefits of antipsychotic treatment may be modest and the harms may be significant.
People with SMIs are more at risk than the general population for preventable medical conditions, and often don’t receive the basic care they need to address them. Four PCORI-funded projects are using stakeholder input to test ways to help people with SMI get the physical health care they need.
To help rural patients with PTSD and bipolar disorder improve their quality of life, this study is comparing two telehealth strategies. In one, primary care providers and care managers provide patients with telehealth specialist-prescribed therapies and routine check-ins. In the other, patients have regular video sessions with remote specialists.