Improving access to mental health services via a clinic-wide mental health intervention in a Southeastern US infectious disease clinic

Kathryn A. Bottonari, Lara M. Stepleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Stepleman, Hann, Santos, and House (2006) described a brief psychological consultation model, which aims to improve integration of mental health services into HIV primary care. This retrospective chart review sought to examine which patients in our adult Infectious Disease clinic were served by this model in a one-year period. Furthermore, we examined whether the patients who subsequently engage in mental health care differ demographically from the consult population. Results indicated that 26.1% (n=252) of the patients at our Infectious Disease clinic (n=963; 36% female, 75% racial minority) received a mental health consultation. We observed no statistically significant differences between the consult and clinic populations with respect to gender, age, or race. Moreover, 43.3% (n=109) of those patients served by the consult model received specialized psychiatric care. There were statistically significant racial differences between those patients who engaged specialty psychiatric care and those who did not after receiving a consultation (χ2(1)=16.65, p < 0.001; 70% racial minority in consult vs. 47.7% racial minority in psychiatric care). While our in-clinic consultation service reached a representative population, we had less success recruiting this diverse patient population into traditional psychiatric care. Future efforts will need to examine how mental health consultation and traditional psychiatric services can best reduce barriers to engagement and retention in care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010



  • Access to care
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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