Mental Health Care in Pediatric Rehabilitation Hospitals: A Biopsychosocial, Collaborative, and Agency-based Service Integration Approach Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Background: Canadian hospitals are not currently prepared to meet the psychosocial needs of children with disabilities as services are rooted in a biomedical care model. Objective: To describe a practical and holistic framework for pediatric rehabilitation hospitals to meet the health care needs of children and their families. Method: An environmental scan was conducted of best practice guidelines, policy documents, and models of integrated mental health care. Recommendations from clinical guidelines and national strategy documents were incorporated to develop a service integration approach. Results: An agency-based approach was used to develop a two-phase biopsychosocial framework. In framework Phase I, reactive care is provided to mental health concerns. In Phase II, there is a shift to proactive care and mental health wellbeing. Conclusions: Emphasis is placed on capacity building of clinical staff into best practices for mental health care. Implementation needs and consideration for uptake of the framework are also discussed.


  • Scratch, Shannon E
  • Stevens, Sara A
  • King, Gillian
  • Schwellnus, Heidi
  • Searl, Nancy
  • McPherson, Amy C

publication date

  • August 17, 2020