Behavioral health problems, which include mental health and substance use disorders, are among the most common conditions seen in primary care settings. AHRQ provides data to quantify these challenges, tools and resources for screening and treatment, and funding for behavioral health research.
- The Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care (the Academy) is an online portal developed by AHRQ to serve as a national resource and coordinating center for integrating behavioral health and primary care services. It includes resources for the treatment of substance use disorders such as opioid use disorder (OUD) among both non-elderly and older adults and Managing Unhealthy Alcohol Use. The Academy shares news from the field, research, and tools and resources, such as the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for OUD Playbook, Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care Playbook, searchable Collection of Unhealthy Alcohol Use Tools and Resources, and a searchable Collection of MAT for OUD Tools and Resources.
- Physician Burnout. This fact sheet describes AHRQ's extensive programs and research findings on the causes of physician burnout and offers a starting point for interventions on how it can be reversed.
- Joy in Work Job AID summarizes key skills taught in the AHRQ Practice Facilitation Training Module, Joy in Work, to help primary care clinicians reduce burnout and recapture the joy in clinical practice.
- Resources for Nursing Home Staff and Resident Well-Being. These resources from AHRQ's Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network cover best practices for promoting mental health and emotional well-being among both nursing home staff and residents.
Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems (CAHPS) Surveys on Mental Health
Many organizations are interested in assessing and improving patient experience with behavioral health, mental health, and/or substance abuse services.
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems (CAHPS) Mental Healthcare Surveys include a survey of patients' access to mental healthcare and survey of patients' experience of behavioral healthcare and health outcomes. These surveys can be used for all patients receiving care for mental, emotional, or behavioral health issues, regardless of setting.
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)
The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is the Nation's most comprehensive source of hospital care data, including information on in-patient stays, ambulatory surgery and services visits, and emergency department encounters. HCUP enables researchers, insurers, policymakers and others to study healthcare delivery and patient outcomes over time, and at the national, regional, State, and community levels. HCUP data sets include data on mental health and substance use disorders, such as those below.
HCUP Interactive Data Tools
- HCUP Data Visualization on Inpatient Trends in COVID-19 and Other Conditions displays State-specific monthly trends in inpatient stays related to COVID-19 and other conditions.
- HCUP Fast Stats: Opioid-Related Hospital Use shows opioid-related inpatient and treat-and-release emergency department rates by State.
- HCUP Fast Stats: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Among Newborn Hospitalizations shows NAS-related newborn hospitalizations by State.
HCUP Statistical Briefs
- Geographic Variation in Inpatient Stays for Five Leading Substance Use Disorders, 2016-2018 (HCUP Stat Brief #289)
- Geographic Variation in Inpatient Stays for Five Leading Mental Disorders, 2016-2018 (HCUP Stat Brief #288)
- Opioid-Related and Stimulant-Related Adult Inpatient Stays, 2012-2018 (HCUP Stat Brief #271)
- Emergency Department Visits Related to Suicidal Ideation or Suicide Attempt, 2008-2017 (HCUP Stat Brief #263) Data Visualization; Infographic 1; Infographic 2
- Hospital Burden of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays: Metropolitan and Rural Hospitals, 2016 (HCUP Stat Brief #258)
- Costs of Emergency Department Visits for Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the United States, 2017 (HCUP Stat Brief #257) Infographic 1; Infographic 2; Infographic 3
Additional HCUP Reports
- County-Level Determinants of High Opioid-Related Hospitalization Rates, January 2022. (PDF, 459 KB)
- Distribution and Correlates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Across US Counties, 2016. (PDF, 599 KB)
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers. MEPS publishes its data as statistical briefs. Below are MEPS statistical briefs on national behavioral healthcare use and costs.
MEPS Statistical Briefs
- Any Use and Frequent Use of Opioids among Non-Elderly Adults in 2018-2019, by Socioeconomic Characteristics (MEPS Stat Brief #542)
- Any Use and Frequent Use of Opioids among Elderly Adults in 2018-2019, by Socioeconomic Characteristics (MEPS Stat Brief #541)
- Healthcare Expenditures for Treatment of Mental Disorders: Estimates for Adults Ages 18 and Older, U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2019 (MEPS Stat Brief #539)
- Average Expenditures per Prescription Antidepressant Fill in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population by Select Sociodemographic Characteristics, 2013 and 2018 (MEPS Stat Brief #538)
- Comparison of the Total Number of People in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population Purchasing One or More Antidepressant or Antipsychotic Prescriptions by Select Sociodemographic Characteristics, 2013 and 2018 (MEPS Stat Brief #535)
- Comparison of Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Utilization and Expenditures in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2013 and 2018 (MEPS Stat Brief #534)
- Total Expenses, Total Utilization, and Sources of Payment for Outpatient Prescription Opioids in the U.S. Adult Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2017 (MEPS Stat Brief #529)
AHRQ's research on behavioral health can be found on AHRQ's Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care and as part of its Evidence-based Practice Center Program.
AHRQ-authored and AHRQ-funded studies on behavioral health can be found by searching the AHRQ Research Studies database.
AHRQ also fosters innovation in research on behavioral health through its Challenge Competitions. One challenge recently focused on Postpartum Mental Health Care for Rural Families.
Published Research (2020 to present)
Opioids and Other Substances
- Tobacco Surcharges Associated with Reduced Marketplace Enrollment (March 2022)
- Opioid and Non-opioid Analgesic Prescribing Before and After the CDC's 2016 Opioid Guideline (March 2022)
- Users of Retail Medications for Opioid Use Disorders Faced High Out-of-Pocket Prescription Spending in 2011-2017 (January 2022)
- Patient Factors that Affect Opioid Use among Adults with and without Chronic Pain (June 2021)
- The Complex Relationships among Race/Ethnicity, Social Determinants, and Opioid Utilization (April 2021)
- Physician Networks and Potentially Inappropriate Opioid Prescriptions (July 2020)
- The Impact of the Abuse-Deterrent Reformulation of Extended-Release OxyContin on Prescription Pain Reliever Misuse and Heroin Initiation (June 2020)
- LETTER: Medicaid Expansion and Mental Health Care and Coverage (September 2021)
- Healthcare Costs of Pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States, 2003-2015 (August 2021)
- Do Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Service Use Vary with Underlying Mental Health? (August 2021)
- Spending on Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Employer-Sponsored Plans, 2011-2017 (January 2021)
- Impact of Mental Health Treatment on Suicide Attempts (January 2021)
- Medicaid Expansion and Health Insurance Coverage and Treatment Utilization among Individuals with a Mental Health Condition (September 2020)
- Integrated Care Models and Behavioral Health Care Utilization: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Medicaid Health Homes (September 2020)
- The Impact of Mental Health Cost-Sharing Parity in Medicare on Use of Behavioral Health Care Services (May 2020)
AHRQ Views Blogs:
AHRQ Research Studies Database is searchable and includes AHRQ-authored and AHRQ-funded research studies on burnout.
AHRQ's Patient Safety Network is another rich source of studies on burnout.