Ethical Challenges Unique to the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Model

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology


The interprofessional nature of the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model invites potential conflicts between different ethical guidelines and principles developed by separate professional disciplines. When the foundational model of care and training on which ethical principles were developed shifts, the assumptions underlying the guidance also shifts, revealing gaps and mismatches. This article reviews the extant literature in this realm, and proposes a more unifying set of ethical guidance for interprofessional, integrated primary care practice. We discuss common ethical dilemmas unique to the PCBH model through case examples, and then apply the newly proposed ethical guideline model to these cases to illustrate how the newly proposed model can be efficient and effective navigating these dilemmas.


Ethical issues in primary care, Ethical model, Interprofessional competencies, Primary care behavioral health model

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2018 Jun;25(2):224-236. doi: 10.1007/s10880-017-9502-2. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID