15 Sep 2022


Professional Psychology Article Review

Format: APA

Academic level: University

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 703

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0


The thrust of this article titled ‘Older adults and integrated health settings: Opportunities and challenges for Mental Health Counselors’ by Goldsmith and Kurpius (2015) is on the role of mental health counselors (MHCs) in the care of older adults. The overall purpose of the authors is to encourage MHCs to take advantage of the opportunities available in gerontology. In the article, they point out the opportunities and challenges, as well as the legal and ethical issues arising from the involvement of MHCs in integrated health teams concerned with the care of older adults. Also , the authors seek to present strategies for addressing the challenges encountered by MHCs in interdisciplinary settings. The subject of this article is not only of great national interest but also for gerontology and medicine as a whole. This is especially while considering projections that the population of older adults will account for up to 20 percent of the U.S population by 2030. The authors also considerably focus on the challenges and less so on the opportunities which may not result in the desired effect of attracting MHCs to the field of geriatric care. Thus, the study hypothesis is that; integrated health care (IHC) will be useful in providing the much-needed health care services to older adults. 

Methodological Approach 

The authors begin with a review of the concept of IHC, where the basis of this approach in medicine is explained with particular emphasis on how IHC meets the criteria of integration of biopsychosocial processes. For instance, the authors reiterate that the Institute of Medicine (IOM), as well as prominent scholars in this field, recommend the integration of biological, behavioral and societal influences in the prevention and management of diseases . The article then proceeds to outline the forms of collaboration between behavioral and primary health care providers. Finally, the role of MHCs in these integrated teams is brought to perspective using citation of data on mental health statistics among older adult populations and its overall advantages for the patient. The experimental manipulation employed was the collaborative functioning of mental health professionals and medical professions. This was done with the aim of deriving scenarios for the holistic treatment of older adults. 

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The authors then proceed to evaluate the opportunities that exist for MHCs. This section mostly concerns the services that patients will receive with the inclusion of MHCs in their teams. The rest of the article explains the challenges relating to competence, consent, limits to confidentiality, duty to warn and protect, and working in a hospital environment. The authors give a detailed description of these challenges, and in presenting the strategies for confronting and resolving these difficulties , attention is drawn to ethical guidelines and codes of practice. The article cites extensively from the guidelines of psychological practice in health care delivery systems by the American Psychological Association (APA) as well as the ethical and legal codes of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counseling Association Code of Ethics. The results of the study were that the career opportunities for MHCs will increase primarily in IHC settings with an increase in number of older adults in the U.S. In this regard, the authors argue that MHCs need to build their experiences and skills in IHC as well as deepen their relationships with other medical professionals in anticipation of the future health care needs of the older adults. 

Summary Overview 

My take is that the article is comprehensive enough in describing the challenges expected by MHCs working in integrated teams at primary health care level. However, not much information in terms of encouragement has been considered for up and coming MHC professionals to join the rank of geriatric care professionals . 

Overall Assessment 

The article is an excellent review of IHC and the role of MHCs in its settings. It also presents the challenges expected as well as the strategies for resolving them. However, the usefulness of this otherwise comprehensive review of challenges and resolution strategies is overshadowed by the limited revelation and demonstration of compelling reasons for aspiring MHC professionals to seize evolving opportunities in geriatric care. Therefore, I think that the study should be repeated in which case emphasis would be placed on the gaps existing in geriatric care, how aspiring professionals can address them, and the benefits they stand to gain from this endeavor. The implications of this are that the profession would be enhanced while providing opportunities for MHCs. Overall, this would result in not only healthier older adults but also improved well-being of the populace. 


Goldsmith, J. S., & Kurpius, S. R. (2015). Older Adults and Integrated Health Settings: Opportunities and Challenges for Mental Health Counselors. Journal Of Mental Health Counseling , 37 (2), 124-137.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Professional Psychology Article Review.


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