Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Psychiatrists Report High Satisfaction Working in Integrated Care Teams, Study Shows

Psychiatrists participating in integrated care teams report high satisfaction with their work, saying a collaborative care model allows them to leverage their expertise to reach a large number of patients in a variety of practice settings, according to a survey of 58 psychiatrists working in integrated care teams. The survey results were published in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

“The ability to reach more people in need of behavioral health treatment through the psychiatrist-supported approach in the collaborative care model was viewed as a very rewarding experience,” coauthor Lori Raney, M.D. (pictured above), vice chair of APA's Council on Healthcare Services and Financing, told Psychiatric News.

Raney and colleagues from the University of Washington School of Medicine surveyed 58 psychiatrists working in integrated care teams. Psychiatrists were recruited from two sources—an online list developed to increase connections between such providers and from participants in previous national training sessions in integrated care implementation. Only psychiatrists working in integrated care settings at least five hours a week were included in the analysis.

The survey was composed of 36 multiple-choice questions addressing integrated care practice characteristics, team composition, common consultation questions, and systems issues. Six open-ended questions assessed the psychiatrists’ opinions and experiences.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. The analysis highlighted four themes in respondents’ subjective experiences: working in a patient-centered care model, working with a team, the psychiatrist’s role as educator, and opportunities for growth and innovation. Some strengths of the model highlighted by those surveyed were that it fosters patient-centered care and offers benefits of working in a team—for example, “mutual support and efforts when helping patients who have a complex clinical presentation.”

Raney said, “Continued efforts to engage more psychiatrists in this work are needed, and this study provides the first report of the core tasks and satisfaction experienced working in this exciting new area of psychiatric practice.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “APA Receives Federal Grant to Train Psychiatrists in Integrated Care.”

(Image: Lori Raney, M.D.)