Integrated care models for youth mental health: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Catherine McHugh, Nan Hu, Gabrielle Georgiou, Michael Hodgins, Sarah Leung, Mariyam Cadiri, Nicola Paul, Vikki Ryall, Debra Rickwood, Valsamma Eapen, Jackie Curtis, Raghu Lingam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of integrated models of mental healthcare in enhancing clinical outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care and health service delivery outcomes in young people aged 12–25 years. A secondary objective was to identify common components of integrated mental health interventions. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published 2001–2023 that assessed clinical or health service use outcomes of integrated care, relative to treatment as usual, for any mental health condition in 12–25 years old accessing community-based care. Results: Of 11,444 titles identified, 15 studies met inclusion criteria and 6 studies were entered in the meta-analysis. Pooled effect size found integrated care was associated with a greater reduction in depressive symptoms relative to treatment as usual at 4–6 months (standardised mean difference = −0.260, 95% confidence interval = [−0.39, −0.13], p = 0.001). Of the seven studies reporting access or engagement, all reported higher rates of both in the intervention arm. The most frequent components of integration were use of a multidisciplinary team (13/15 studies), shared treatment planning (11/15) and workforce training in the model (14/15). Conclusions: Integrated models of mental healthcare are associated with a small, but significant, increase in effectiveness for depressive symptoms relative to treatment as usual. Given integrated care may increase access and engagement, future research should focus on assessing the impact of integrated care in a wider range of settings and outcomes, including clinical and functional recovery, satisfaction with care and system-level outcomes such as cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2024


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