Building the plane in the air...but also before and after it takes flight: considerations for training and workforce preparedness in integrated behavioural health

Tziporah Rosenberg, University of Rochester
Daniel J. Mullin, University of Massachusetts Medical School


Collaborative approaches to healthcare that integrate behavioural and biomedical interventions are more likely to enhance patient outcomes as well as provider satisfaction with care delivery than siloed approaches to care. The recognition for specific and targeted training for these models is growing among all health professions, although many in the field have not received systematized, interprofessional, and competency-based training that adequately prepared them for the work of integration. This article reviews some of the fundamental principles of biopsychosocially-oriented, team-based approaches to care that integrate behavioural and biomedical perspectives and delineates the need for targeted training efforts. It describes which specific elements must be addressed within it in order to promote effective integration, and highlights the array of options for training currently in existence. This review provides an overview of current models of training offered in the US, and concludes with a discussion of the challenges and barriers that may render training either ineffective or difficult to achieve.