Professional Practices, Training, and Funding Mechanisms: A Survey of Pediatric Primary Care Psychologists

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The integration of mental health services in primary care settings has expanded rapidly in recent years with psychologists being at the forefront of efforts to promote healthy behaviors, reduce disease, and care for behavioral, emotional, and developmental needs to promote overall health and well-being for children and families (Asarnow, Kolko, Miranda, & Kazak, 2017; Stancin & Perrin, 2014). While there are many psychologists working in pediatric primary care (PPC), little is known about the specific activities that these psychologists engage in, the training they receive, or funding mechanisms that support their work. This study sought to address this gap in the literature through a survey of psychologists working in PPC. An anonymous online survey was disseminated to members of professional organizations and listservs who were identified as having interest in PPC. Psychologists (N = 65) currently practicing in PPC completed the survey by reporting on clinical roles and practices, professional training, practice settings, and funding supports in PPC settings. Results indicate that psychologists assume a number of roles in PPC including providing individual and family therapy, conducting screenings for child mental health concerns, and providing consultation to medical colleagues. Many psychologists also provide supervision and offer educational opportunities for those in related fields, such as medicine and social work. Engagement in research activities was identified as a secondary activity. It was reported that a number of clinical activities were not billed for on a regular basis. Additional areas of research will be discussed along with implications for clinical services in PPC.

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