Original Article

Patient Acceptance of Primary Care Behavioral Health in a Resident Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic

Authors: Dung Dang, MD, Jennifer Salcedo, MD, MPH


Objectives: Primary care behavioral health (PCBH) is a patient care model in which a behavioral health consultant (BHC) works alongside the primary care provider to address behavioral components of health conditions. PCBH is well received in the primary care setting; however, little is known about acceptability of the service among prenatal patients. The study was designed to explore the acceptability of PCBH among pregnant patients in a resident obstetrics and gynecology clinic.

Methods: A survey designed to assess different components of acceptability was administered to eligible pregnant patients who received prenatal care at the resident obstetrics and gynecology clinic.

Results: The majority of patients wanted to receive education on pregnancy-relevant topics from the BHC: healthy weight gain (68.4%), healthy eating (70.4%), healthy exercise (73.5%), and mood disorders (63.3%). The majority of participants wanted help from the BHC in managing coexisting conditions affecting pregnancy: stress (63.3%), depression (75.5%), or anxiety (73%). The majority of patients (55.6%) preferred to work with a BHC for mental health concerns rather than an outside psychiatrist or counselor. PCBH service was perceived to be easy to understand (78%). Barriers to engaging in the PCBH service included time (41.4%), lack of perceived need (13.8%), unavailability (6.9%), and others (13.8%). Despite the perceived benefit, there was an implication of stigma among prenatal patients seeking PCBH or mental health care.

Conclusions: Overall, the PCBH model had high acceptability among a prenatal care population in a resident obstetrics and gynecology clinic and offers potential to improve prenatal outcomes.

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