Client perspectives on primary care integration in a rural-serving behavioral health center

Jeffersson Santos, Amanda Acevedo-Morales, Lillian Jones, Tara Bautista, Carolyn Camplain, Chesleigh N. Keene, Julie Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Advancing behavioral health and primary care integration is a priority for helping clients overcome the complex health challenges impacting healthcare deserts like those in Arizona, United States of America (USA). This study aimed to explore the perspectives of people with a substance use disorder (SUD) on accessing integrated primary care (IPC) services in a rural-serving behavioral healthcare organization in Arizona. Design/methodology/approach: Clients from a behavioral health facility in Arizona (n = 10) diagnosed with SUDs who also accessed IPC participated in a 45-min semi-structured interview. Findings: The authors identified six overarching themes: (1) importance of IPC for clients being treated for SUDs, (2) client low level of awareness of IPC availability at the facility, (3) strategies to increase awareness of IPC availability at the behavioral health facility, (4) cultural practices providers should consider in care integration, (5) attitudes and perceptions about the experience of accessing IPC and (6) challenges to attending IPC appointments. The authors also identified subthemes for most of the main themes. Originality/value: This is the first study in rural Arizona to identify valuable insights into the experiences of people with SUDs accessing IPC, providing a foundation for future research in the region on care integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024


  • Addiction integrative care
  • Healthcare delivery
  • Interdisciplinary health teams
  • Mental health services
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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