University of Toronto, Canada
Title: Interdisciplinary care delivery for transitional youth in the university campus setting
Biography: Andrea J Levinson
Statement of the Problem: In the university campus clinic where 14,000 students have been seen in the past year, family physicians provide the majority of longitudinal mental health care and support to students with psychiatric diagnoses. Historically, they have lacked prompt access to psychiatric consultation and have had to support students’ mental health needs alone, necessitating urgent care and emergency room visits. In the clinic situated on campus, psychiatric consultation was provided in a separate manner, where family physicians were not involved in the care plan for a student, and psychiatric care was not collaborative, shared or responsive. The University of Toronto (U of T) is the largest university in Canada, with 60,000 post-secondary students attending its central St. George campus.
Methodology: This study describes the development of a coordinated, collaborative model of service delivery where family physicians would have greater access to consultation and collaboration in the care of young transitional youth on the university campus. Interdisciplinary care is delivered in the family practice setting. Service utilization, the efficacy of the model and the perspectives of students and care providers are evaluated.
Findings: Collaborative care has facilitated more stream-lined and student-centered access to psychiatric care in a large campus health setting. The integrated medical and psychiatric needs of this young transitional youth cohort on campus are met through case conferencing, indirect care and a “shared care” delivery of service model.
Conclusion & Significance: Collaborative care provides a pathway and model of care that creates scope for indirect psychiatric consultation, quicker access to psychiatric opinion and consultation, and interdisciplinary learning for different healthcare providers.