The majority of evidence-based, effective behavioral interventions were developed for settings very different from the fast-paced primary care environment. Many of these interventions were developed for weekly, one-hour visits with a specialty mental health provider, and often require extensive clinical training.
Of the many existing behavioral interventions, only a few have shown to be effective in primary care. These include:
- Problem Solving Treatment-Primary Care (PST-PC)
Brief therapy that uses six to ten 30-minute sessions to help patients solve the "here and now" problems contributing to their depression.
- Behavioral Activation (BA)
Intervention that identifies work, social, health, or family activities patients have stopped engaging in because of their mood.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Short-term, goal-oriented therapy to interrupt patterns of thinking that prevent patients from feeling better.
- Interpersonal Counseling (IPC)
Outgrowth of Interpersonal Therapy that focuses on current functioning, recent life changes, sources of stress and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
Training in Brief Evidence-Based Behavioral Interventions
Key Intervention Features
Treatment plans in effective integrated care models, such as Collaborative Care, use medications, behavioral interventions, or both. To be effective in primary care, a behavioral intervention should:
- Include a patient engagement component
- Be time efficient, running no more than 20-30 minutes a visit
- Follow a structured, but patient-centered approach
- Minimize required clinical training and duration of treatment
- Be relevant and applicable to diverse patient populations
- Have a substantial research evidence base