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Pediatric Integrated Primary Care as the Foundation for Healthy Development Across the Lifespan

McCabe MA, Leslie L, Counts N, Tynan WD
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology

Pediatric Integrated Primary Care (IPC) plays a unique and foundational role in prevention of behavioral health disorders and promotion of healthy development and positive health behaviors across the life span. Early intervention can mitigate the impact of social determinants of health (including adverse childhood experiences) and promote health equity. Yet to realize this potential for health promotion and prevention, it will be necessary for pediatric integrated primary care to shift focus upstream — ensuring a 2-generation approach (e.g., parenting programs, screening for maternal depression) and enabling effective collaboration with other sectors in communities that impact children and families (e.g., home visiting programs, schools). This will pose challenges for sharing desired outcomes and data and reconceptualizing returns on investment across sectors. Other policy changes will also be necessary, including payment reforms (e.g., value-based payment models), interprofessional training, and increased funding for IPC research in pediatrics. It will be necessary to educate policymakers that health promotion and prevention in pediatric IPC results in improved health and savings into adulthood.

Pediatric psychology can play a leadership role in realizing the potential for pediatric IPC.