Improvement in behavioral health symptoms and functioning among rural patients cared for by primary care teams using the extension for community health care outcomes model

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Rural communities disproportionately experience behavioral health care shortages. This study examines outcomes among the patients of rural primary care teams trained and supported to deliver behavioral health care. Patients (n = 243) completed 5 iterations of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5) Self-Rated Level 1 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (World Health Organization, 2012). Survey data were used in multiple linear regressions to assess health changes. Patients who received treatment from teams experienced less anxiety, sleep problems, and cognition problems over time. This exploratory research shows supporting primary care teams to deliver behavioral health care is associated with improved behavioral health and functioning among rural patient populations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)