Delivering DB/MH Services via Telehealth

A Clinical Trial sponsored by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with PCORI as collaborator, is estimated to be completed by October 2016. The trial is going to test how effective it is to deliver Developmental Behavioral and Mental Health (DB/MH) services into primary care for low-income publicly insured children in the Los Angeles area.

The trial is in partnership with a multi-site Los Angeles area community clinic consortium called the North East Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC). During the first year, the investigators will conduct and analyze interviews with parents, clinicians, and staff at NEVHC to determine if delivering child DBMH services for 340 children ages 5-12 during a telehealth-based patient visit is effective.

During year two to three, the investigators will conduct a cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to compare the telehealth-based patient visit, coordination, and clinician education system to the usual in-person community based referral system used at NEVHC.

The experimental telehealth model will use video conferencing provided by a developmental behavioral pediatrician housed at UCLA from Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Mental health services will be provided by Child Family Center and Guidance Center.

Patients who need a specialty visit with a developmental and/or pediatrician will be scheduled and connected via a telehealth visit. Patients who need a psychological mental health referral also will be able to connect with the mental health clinic using telehealth. Therapy visits and the initial psychiatric assessment for medications are in person with follow up psychiatric visits via telehealth.

For more information on the Clinical Trial “Using Telehealth to Deliver Mental Health Services in Primary Care Setting for Children in Underserved Areas” (NCT02396576) email Lorena Porras-Javier at

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