What Attributes of Integrated Health Care for Mental Health Are the Most Important to Potential Consumers? A Relative Ranking Study

Joseph H. Hammer, Valerie P.A. Verty, Andrew Hauber, Nayeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrated health care (IHC) is efficacious, cost-effective, and more attractive to some consumers than traditional standalone psychotherapy, but the specific characteristics of IHC that drive this enhanced attraction have yet to be explored among potential future mental health consumers. As such, this brief report documents the results of a survey of 428 US adults who were asked to rank order the relative personal importance of seven characteristics (e.g., self-stigma mitigation, prompt appointment, saving money). These seven characteristics have been characterized in the IHC literature as potential beneficial elements of seeking mental health care from a provider in certain integrated health care settings. Getting sufficient information about one’s health and treatment from one’s provider was rated as most important, whereas co-location of mental/medical care and treatment privacy were rated as least important. The authors found evidence for select hypothesized demographic effects (e.g., interprovider communication rated more important for older adults) on how these factors were ranked. Professionals invested in developing and improving mental health care systems that are attractive and accessible to consumers in need of mental health care can consider the present findings when making decisions about which characteristics (e.g., getting sufficient information) should be maximized in the design and marketing of such systems. Future research, particularly longitudinal studies that assess prospective treatment seeking behavior, can build on the present study by examining the degree to which these attributes attract consumers to IHC settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© National Council for Mental Wellbeing 2024.


  • Attitudes
  • Health care services
  • Help seeking
  • Integrated care
  • Treatment utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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