Integrated Care: A Potential Solution to Behavioral Health Disparities Among Latinos
Latinos constitute the largest minority group in the United States making up approximately 16 % of the total US population (U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic or Latino by type: 2010. http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_SF1_QTP10&prodType=table). The contemporary issues that this group experiences include issues related to cultural self-identification, acculturation level, immigration status, discrimination, English-language proficiency, and poverty. These issues are largely responsible for the barriers that Latinos encounter in accessing behavioral healthcare. Integrated care is a mechanism of delivering care that attempts to make service delivery more efficient, effective, and client-centered. The basic idea is to collocate and coordinate behavioral health care in a medical setting, particularly primary care. This allows “one stop” care where both the physical health needs and behavioral health needs can be identified and treated. Integrated care is well positioned to solve many of the issues that Latinos face with regard to behavioral health care. While the field is shifting rapidly towards an integrated care model, discussions on cultural factors and how they interplay with integrated care are largely lacking. This book attempts to fill this gap and provides practical and easy to use solutions to the issues that the behavioral health care specialist is likely to encounter when working with Latinos in a primary care setting. The health disparities among Latinos are vast and this text provides culturally relevant recommendations that could ultimately lead to a reduction in these disparities.
KeywordsLatinos Hispanics Integrated care Behavioral health disparities
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