Parents' Preferences for Behavioral Services in Primary Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rachel A. Petts, Bethany L. Walker, Katherine A. Hails, Marisa Simoni, Whitney J. Raglin Bignall, Cody A. Hostutler, Andrew R. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective:Pediatric primary care is an ideal setting to provide behavioral health services to young children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is unclear how the pandemic altered parents' priorities and preferences to obtain behavioral services in this setting.Method:Between July 2020 and January 2021, 301 parents of young children in 5 pediatric sites across the United States completed survey measures on their preferences for behavioral topics and service delivery methods in primary care. The current sample was compared with a previous sample of parents (n = 396) who completed the same measures in 2018.Results:Child self-calming was the only behavioral topic that was rated as significantly more important in the pandemic cohort in comparison with the prepandemic cohort. The pandemic cohort also reported significantly more interest in using certain media resources (e.g., mobile apps and videos) as a delivery method and less interest in group classes/seminars. After controlling for demographic differences between the samples, there was an increased preference for multimedia resources overall in the pandemic cohort, as well as a decreased preference for usual care.Conclusion:Parents generally endorse similar priorities for behavioral topics in primary care during the pandemic as they did before the pandemic. However, there is a clear preference for more remote and media-based services during the pandemic. Pediatric practices may consider augmenting behavioral health services with multimedia resources during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to meet parents' needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • behavioral health
  • integrated care
  • pediatrics
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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