Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Christopher Dula

Committee Members

Julia Dodd, Jill Stinson, Stacey Williams


Primary care providers have become the front line of treatment for mental health in the United States. Group interventions have been argued to be an effective way to treat more patients with fewer resources, which could reduce the burden of psychopathology on primary care settings. Group therapy faces many barriers to successful implementation in primary care, including site constraints, provider perceptions, population needs, and recruiting difficulties. A survey was developed to assess primary care providers’ perspectives on these areas and distributed via online survey to practitioners in Appalachia; 28 providers responded. No hypotheses were supported, likely a result of the small sample size. Analysis of quantitative and quantitative data elucidated some potential areas for future exploration. Respondents held generally favorable views of group therapy in primary care, and may be more responsive to the peer support and learning elements of group interventions than time or cost benefits. Respondents reported scheduling and a lack of mental health providers with group expertise to be a significant barrier to group interventions in primary care. Billing may not be a significant concern for primary care providers, as is typically reported. Discrepancies between psychopathology frequently seen in primary care settings and the demand on provider time and attention are also discussed.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.