Community-Based Behavioral Health Integration: A Focus on Community Health Workers to Support Individuals with Behavioral Health and Medical Needs

Laderman M, Mate K, Deen N. Community-Based Behavioral Health Integration: A Focus on Community Health Workers to Support Individuals with Behavioral Health and Medical Needs. IHI Innovation Report. Cambridge, MA: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; August 2015. 

The primary aim of the IHI 90-day innovation project described in this report was to develop an approach to managing patients with comorbid behavioral health and medical needs in community-based settings.

The project included a literature scan and expert interviews to identify existing programs targeting this population, challenges to successful implementation, and continuing issues requiring innovation and development. Some promising pilot work in the US was identified, in addition to some significant gaps that need to be addressed to better support patients with medical and behavioral health needs in community settings.

This report identifies four populations who could be well-served by community-based behavioral health integration and potential interventions to support these populations; describes the role and key functions of community health workers (CHWs), the dominant intervention implemented to support this population; and discusses two key areas for future research and application of improvement science.

*See the related article published in the journal, Healthcare:
Community Health Workers for Patients with Medical and Behavioral Needs

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