The purpose of this paper is to explore the “active ingredients” of integrated behavioral health care (IBHC) from the perspective of Karen refugee participants in an IBHC intervention.
This paper is based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with participants (n=40) who have received an IBHC intervention for one year. These qualitative data are supplemented by descriptive quantitative data from those same participants.
This research suggested that IBHC increased awareness and access to behavioral health services, and that IBHC may be especially amenable to treating complex health conditions. The research also found that IBHC provided a point of regular contact for patients who had limited time with their primary care providers, which helped to enhance access to and engagement with health care.
IBHC has the potential to meet the complex needs of Karen resettled refugees living in an urban setting in the USA.
IBHC is a promising approach to help meet the mental health needs of refugees in the USA. There are, however, gaps in knowledge about the “active ingredients” of IBHC. This paper helps fill these gaps by studying how IBHC works from the perspective of a group of Karen refugees; these are critical perspectives, missing in the literature, which must be heard in order to better address the complex conditions and needs of resettled refugees.
Conflicting interests: the authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Funding: the HH study was supported by the Kresge Foundation (Grant Number 246918); the Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation (no grant number); the F.R. Bigelow Foundation (Grant Number 95713/BGPE-12-126370 and 106433/BGPE-15-151279); the UCare Foundation (Grant Number 2013-R07); the Saint Paul Foundation (Grant Number 95712/SPPE-12-126793 and 106434/SPPE-15-151925); the John and Ruth Huss Fund (no grant number); and the Medica Foundation (Grant No. 2013-102273).
The authors are grateful to the study participants for sharing their experiences and insights. Thank you to the interpreters for their excellent, essential work. Thank you to Nora Radtke and Tonya Cook for their early contributions to this research. The authors are grateful for project leadership including Co-Principal Investigators Andrea Northwood and Maria Vukovich, Program Manager Alison Beckman and Strategic Development Officer Stanton Wood. Thank you to the Healing Hearts providers for their tremendous work and dedication to the project. Much gratitude goes to EhTa Zar for her expert coordination. Thank you to Jared Del Rosso for his early review of this manuscript. And a special thanks to Andrea Northwood and Craig Higson-Smith for their substantial and ongoing review of the manuscript.
Esala, J.J., Hudak, L., Eaton, A. and Vukovich, M. (2018), "Integrated behavioral health care for Karen refugees: a qualitative exploration of active ingredients", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 133-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-10-2017-0043Download as .RIS
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