Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine

Summer 2018

IPC SIG Works in Progress: An Opportunity to Obtain Consultation on Research/Evaluation Projects in Integrated Primary Care

Alexander A. Young, MA and Jennifer S. Funderburk, PhD, Integrated Primary Care (IPC) SIG

Researchers within behavioral medicine have developed an array of evidence-based interventions and strategies that redefine the way patients receive care in medical settings. However, the success of these interventions necessitates their translation into actual practice. Primary care is one place where behavioral medicine concerns are common and a growing number of psychologists and allied mental health professionals work jointly with physicians, nurses and other medical staff to meet patients’ needs. Two common primary care models that are popular in today’s practice include the Collaborative Care model (e.g. IMPACT study is an example of this approach) and the Primary Care Behavioral Health model. These models integrate behavioral health professionals in primary care to deliver behavioral treatments for concerns, such as insomnia and medication adherence.

However, the way these behavioral health providers work is extremely different than in specialty mental health settings, often utilizing brief interventions for a range of problems, with the possibility of the primary care team delivering an intervention together. An upcoming review by Funderburk et al. (in press) in Families, Systems, and Health found significant gaps in the research on brief behavioral interventions in adult primary care settings. The absence of translatable intervention research has made it difficult to use supported evidence-based treatment in practice outside of interventions for insomnia and physical activity. Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity for collaborative work between SIG’s to improve behavioral medicine research’s reach and translation into primary care.

The IPC SIG Works in Progress (WIPs) teleconference is a new idea that the IPC SIG is piloting this year. The goal is to provide a place for clinicians, researchers, and administrators to share ideas of new research, program evaluation plans (e.g., proposed measures), specific aims of a research grant, or drafts of manuscripts to obtain feedback from experts in integrated care to help improve dissemination of research into primary care.

Specific details about the WIPs:

  • Interested individuals will provide to the IPC SIG leadership a short description of the idea they would like to discuss, along with several questions they are interested in asking the group.
  • Teleconferences are proposed to occur on a quarterly basis.
  • A conference call would include two individuals to present their project.
  • IPC experts would be on the call to ensure that the call has individuals with significant levels of IPC knowledge to share.
  • Individuals would be given 5-10 minutes to present the specifics of their project and the questions for the group. The remaining 20 minutes would be given to discussion of dialogue to ensure that multiple perspectives are provided, and collaboration is generated.

Our goal is to utilize the WIPs to improve the types of research and evaluation efforts occurring and to strengthen the integrated care evidence base. In addition, we are hoping this will be a nice additional benefit for SBM members. Be on the lookout for the new WIPs conference calls sponsored by the IPC SIG.