Integrating Medical and Behavioral Care Shows Promise for Kids, Teens

Integrating behavioral and medical care for adults improves costs and leads to better outcomes, according to a growing body of research. Now, a new study from the University of California, Los Angeles, shows a similar benefit for children and adolescents.

Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the meta-analysis found that youth who receive integrated treatment for mental and physical health are 66 percent more likely to have a good outcome compared to those who receive care from a more traditional setting.

With about 40 percent of U.S. adolescents grappling with a mental health or substance use disorder, the findings have significant implications for better addressing the behavioral health of youth.