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Casting a wider net in behavioral health screening in primary care: a preliminary study of the Outcome Rating Scale

  • Brian DeSantis (a1), Miranda J. Jackson (a1), Barry L. Duncan (a2) and Robert J. Reese (a3)

Abstract

Introduction

The integration of behavioral health services into primary care has led to enhanced use of brief screening measures to identify mental health problems. Although useful, such instruments are largely symptom based and diagnosis specific. This narrow focus can potentially limit the identification of broader social or relational distress in patients that affect medical outcomes, as well as present feasibility challenges using a multi-measure approach in identifying mental health comorbidities.

Method

This exploratory study of adult primary care patients compared an ultra-brief, and widely used measure of global distress across life functioning, the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS), with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9 and PHQ-2).

Results

Correlations between the ORS and the PHQ-9 and PHQ-2 indicated agreement between the measures in classifying patients, and the ORS identified significantly more patients in the clinical range.

Discussion

Although results are preliminary, the ORS may cast a wider net in identifying patients with significant distress in primary care.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Brian DeSantis, Behavioral Health, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Pediatric Health Center, 2828 International Circle, Suite 140, Colorado Springs, CO 80910-3195, USA. Email: brian.desantis@peakvista.org

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Keywords

Casting a wider net in behavioral health screening in primary care: a preliminary study of the Outcome Rating Scale

  • Brian DeSantis (a1), Miranda J. Jackson (a1), Barry L. Duncan (a2) and Robert J. Reese (a3)

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