Connecting Mental Health and Primary Care


Path-Goal Leadership in the Field of Public Health: Connecting Mental Health and Primary Care among the Primary Care and Mental Health Communities of Atlanta, GA

The campaign for quality healthcare in Atlanta has been under research studies by various scholars. The case of mental health care in the community has been the subject of central concern. The appropriate approach towards the goal of Connecting Mental Health and Primary Care among the Primary Care and Mental Health Communities of Atlanta, GA, is path-goal leadership theory. Below is a typical flow chart of path-goal leadership theory

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According to the literature review on mental healthcare, better results can be obtained from the entire management system by adopting this modern leadership style. In the real sense, good co-ordination of various people within the organizational structure can deliver desirable results. A descriptive overview of the path-goal theory explores the systems thinking approach. It is evident that this leadership approach constitutes three major aspects in the environment, employee characteristics and outcome. Emphasis is placed towards home-based care for the mentally ill as this is likely to improve the quality of the result (Butler, et al., 2008). The leadership of the medical fraternity seeks to pull all the resources and human capital towards primary care to the mental health sector.

The effectiveness of this leadership model will be put through a rigorous evaluation based on the hypothesis below.


The null hypothesis Ho = HA : provisions for collaborative mental health care would improve but not replace the management of patients with mental health conditions.

The alternate hypothesis Ho ≠ HA: provisions for collaborative mental health care would enhance and replace the management of patients with mental health conditions.

Research Questions

  • Is there a connection between mental health and primary care?
  • Is it possible that provisions for collaborative mental health care would enhance and replace the management of patients with mental health conditions?
  • Is integrated care more efficient way of providing patients with access to mental health services?
  • Is shift to integrated care requiring the existing service systems to undergo significant changes?

Qualitative Research Design

The qualitative research design in the application for this investigation would be Grounded theory. It involves theory development in which emphasis is put in discovering what problems exist in a social scene and how individuals handle them. This will include the formulation of the hypothesis, testing through statistics and redeveloping the propositions until the theory is developed from this research. This qualitative research design is very relevant to the case at hand which seeks to develop a theoretical framework for Path-Goal Leadership in the Field of Public Health: Connecting Mental Health and Primary Care among the Primary Care and Mental Health Communities of Atlanta, GA.

The rationale behind the application of grounded theory can be attributed to the nature of this investigative research which seeks to establish a cause-effect relationship with the final aim of establishing a theory. The increasing campaign for using path-goal leadership in the healthcare sector with particular emphasis on primary healthcare to the mental illness victims is a new concept (Collins, et al, .2010). It is, therefore, relevant to adopt grounded theory as the most appropriate step towards achieving desirable results.

The population of the study, in this case, will constitute the primary care and mental health providers of Atlanta, GA. A person will be eligible only if on practice and have work experience of more than two years. This population will provide more reliable and valid data concerning the subject of study as they have interacted with several health-related situations.

Sampling Technique

In this research study, a random sampling method will be applied. This involves using probabilistic theory in selecting a sample from the given population. The reliability and accuracy of data obtained will be achieved at over 95% if this sampling approach is considered.

Sample Size

The sample size for this study will be approximately 500 people. This will be a representative sample to the entire population and will involve statistical tests of significance like t-test with a formula

( n = N/1+ N (e)2, where n= sample size, N population size, and e is the required precision (0.5)).

Independent Variable and Qualitative Scale of Measurement

The independent variables, in this case, are more than two and as such will provide more detailed and lengthy theoretical model. The variables include; the mental health team’s motivation and satisfaction, the operational integration of mental health services into primary care, the attitudes of primary care providers towards the provision of mental health care, the coordination among multiple disciplines, and the frequency of collaboration (Shedler, Beck, & Bensen, 2009). The qualitative scale, in this case, will be Likert scale which analyses correlation of individual items with scale score and involve factor analysis.

Dependent Variable Measured Using Interval Scales

The principal dependent variable in this research study is the degree of collaboration between mental health and family physicians. Using an interval scale in this section would be more appropriate in the analysis and interpretation of the final data.

Estimation of path-goal leadership theory requires collection of primary data through an interview, observation, record review, or a combination of them. The data would then be subjected to intensive evaluation process and refinement to minimize errors in findings.

The measurement instruments above will give more reliable and valid data since they are not vulnerable to any type of error. Calibration as a quantifying measurement tool is a globally standard hence universal in its use. This means that the findings can be generalized as the prevailing characteristics over the entire population.

Research Assumptions

The participants will answer the questions honestly; this is possibly due to the underlying anonymity and confidentiality which will be preserved beside the fact that the participants are volunteers who are free to withdraw from the study at any time and with no penalties.

It is equally important to assume that the sample is representative of the population so that the result can be concluded as the general characteristic of the entire population.

Research Limitations

This study requires time as it involves a step by step data collection and other procedures.

There is a need for more financial input to collect data over the geographically dispersed sample population.


Choice of the problem; there are several closely related problems that could have been chosen, but it was restricted to one in this case. Generalizing the findings to the entire population is not appropriate as it may not reflect the true underlying concepts of the subject matter.

Ethical Concerns of the Study

Findings of this research study are likely to involve healthcare professionals who are subordinate to other authorities. It is, therefore, important that Anonymity and Confidentiality is maintained to avoid victimization of the respondents by the government authorities or employers.

Significance of the Study

This study seeks to encourage the adoption of Path-Goal Leadership in the Field of Public Health as the best policy for mental healthcare provision approach.

Conclusions of the Study

It is worth to conclude that contemporary reforms within the healthcare sector require the adoption of new modern management concept. Increasing cases of mental illness call for more research on the feasibility of path-goal leadership strategy as the preferable mitigation measure and quality appraisal technique








































Butler M., Kane R.L., McAlpine D., Kathol, R. G., Fu, S.S., Hagedorn, H., Wilt, T.J. (2008,

October).  Integration of mental health/substance abuse and primary care no. 173

(Prepared by the Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. 290-02-

0009.) AHRQ Publication No. 09- E003. Rockville, MD. Agency for Healthcare

Research and Quality.

Collins, C., Hewson, L., Munger, R. & Wade, T. (2010, May). Evolving models of behavioral

health integration in primary care (ISBN: 978-1-887748-73-5).

Merriam, S. B., & Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Shedler, J., Beck, A. & Bensen, S. (2009, January 9). Practical mental health assessment in

primary care: Validity and utility of the Quick PsychoDiagnostics Panel. Journal of

Family Practice, 49(7). Retrieved from[tt_news]=168684.

WHO & Wonca. (2008). Integrating mental health into primary care: A global perspective.

Retrieved from

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