Assessing Collaborative Care in Mental Health Teams: Qualitative Analysis to Guide Future Implementation

  • Christopher J. MillerEmail author
  • Jennifer L. Sullivan
  • Bo Kim
  • A. Rani Elwy
  • Karen L. Drummond
  • Samantha Connolly
  • Rachel P. Riendeau
  • Mark S. Bauer
Original Article


The Collaborative Care Model (CCM) is an evidence-based approach for structuring care for chronic health conditions. Attempts to implement CCM-based care in a given setting depend, however, on the extent to which care in that setting is already aligned with the specific elements of CCM-based care. We therefore interviewed staff from ten outpatient mental health teams in the US Department of Veterans Affairs to determine whether care delivery was consistent or inconsistent with CCM-based care in those settings. We discuss implications of our findings for future attempts to implement CCM-based outpatient mental health care.


Outpatient mental health Collaborative Care Model Team-based care Implementation 



This study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Service, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI 15-289).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Bauer receives royalties (less than $200/year) from publication of a treatment manual that incorporates elements of the Collaborative Care Model (CCM). The authors declare that they have no other conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study involved research on human subjects. All study procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. The study protocol was approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Central Institutional Review Board (CIRB).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Miller
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jennifer L. Sullivan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bo Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Rani Elwy
    • 1
    • 3
  • Karen L. Drummond
    • 4
    • 5
  • Samantha Connolly
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel P. Riendeau
    • 1
  • Mark S. Bauer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.VA Boston Healthcare System (152M)Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR)BostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and ManagementBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  5. 5.Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare SystemCenter for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research (CeMHOR)North Little RockUSA

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