What’s known about implementing co-located paediatric integrated care: a scoping review

Several studies have demonstrated clinical benefits of integrated care for a range of child and adolescent mental health outcomes. However, there is a significant gap between the evidence for efficacy of integrated care interventions vs their implementation in practice. While several studies have examined large-scale implementation of co-located integrated care for adults, much less is known for children. The goal of this scoping review was to understand how co-located mental health interventions targeting children and adolescents have been implemented and sustained. The literature was systematically searched for interventions targeting child and adolescent mental health that involved a mental health specialist co-located in a primary care setting. Studies reporting on the following implementation outcomes were included: acceptability, adoption, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, implementation cost, penetration, and sustainability. This search identified 34 unique studies, including randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and survey/mixed method approaches. Components facilitating implementation of on-site integrated behavioural healthcare included interprofessional communication and collaboration at all stages of implementation; clear protocols to facilitate intervention delivery; and co-employment of integrated care providers by specialty clinics. Some studies found differences in service use by demographic factors, and others reported funding challenges affecting sustainability, warranting further study.