Collaborative Care Research Network

[2011 NRN Logo Redesign]

The Collaborative Care Research Network (CCRN), a sub-network of the AAFP’s National Research Network (NRN), was created so that clinicians from across the country can ask questions and investigate how to make collaborative care work more effectively. 

The objectives of the CCRN are to support, conduct, and disseminate practice-based primary care effectiveness research that examines the clinical, financial, and operational impact of behavioral health on primary care and health outcomes.

What is Collaborative Care?

"Collaborative care" is a term used to describe different models of behavioral health in primary care. It is also a comprehensive approach to health that sees no distinction between your mind and body, but rather focuses on your overall health. Integrating mental health services into primary care is one successful avenue for treating the health care of the whole person. When mental health professionals and medical professionals collaborate, studies have shown that not only do people live longer, but they are happier with services and have more positive health outcomes. The demand that an all-inclusive approach to health be addressed together in one facility has prompted much of the movement behind the medical home. Some have argued that without mental health in the medical home, the home is not complete. To this end, it is our hope that through the CCRN we will better integrate mental health services into the Patient-Centered Medical Home.

How can the CCRN help me?


Through its vast system of nationwide practices, the CCRN will examine how combining mental health, substance use and physical health services can produce better health outcomes for all patients.

Family Physicians

The CCRN will provide up-to-date information on how behavioral health services can positively affect your practice and your patients’ health.

Behavioral Health Providers

Working with behavioral health providers across the country, the CCRN will give you the opportunity to ask and investigate questions that are important to your practice and the field, while determining the most effective model of collaborative care.


The CCRN will assist you in answering the toughest questions about collaborative care, such as: 

  • Are there viable financial models to support these services?
  • What operational components are necessary for success and efficiency?

Interested in participating in the CCRN?

Membership in the Collaborative Care Research Network (CCRN) is completely free and the amount of involvement is left up to the individual clinician. If you're interested in becoming a member of the CCRN, please see the membership materials below. 

The requirements for participation as a member in the CCRN are:

  • Desire to contribute to new knowledge to collaborative care
  • Ability to cooperate with other member programs
  • Ability to contribute to the selection of projects
  • Use standardized definitions and procedures to report and ensure quality of data
  • Share data for distribution and use in ways that are consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the CCRN
  • Ability to conduct approved, ethically sound research in the provider’s local environment and to obtain the necessary institutional approval for this work
  • Consent to be publicly listed as a member of the AAFP NRN’s CCRN and acknowledged as a CCRN participant in published manuscripts

Complete the CCRN Enrollment Form

If you are interested in joining the Collaborative Care Research Network, please complete the Enrollment Form: CCRN Enrollment Form(950 KB PDF).


and submit to Kaari Van Auken at or via fax at 913-906-6099. She will follow up with additional materials regarding your participation and membership.

We specifically ask that you complete the questionnaire Kaari sends you. It will provide Network staff with important information about you, your practice, and your patients that will be beneficial to the growth of the Network and for your involvement in future studies.


See Also


CoNNECT will recruit CCRN practices with collaborative care delivery models and existing DARTNet practices without collaborative care to examine similarities and differences between practices that have onsite mental health providers compared to primary care practices that use a traditional referral model of offsite mental health providers. 

For additional information

E-mail the CCRN at

or Kaari Van Auken at



Advancing Collaborative Care Research Conference

The purpose of the Collaborative Care Research Network Research Conference was to respond to the questions raised by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Evidence Practice Committee (EPC) report Integration of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Primary Care. Key national leaders were brought to Denver, Colorado, to establish a research agenda for collaborative care. While preliminary research questions emerged from the conference, the conference itself produced more than just these sets of questions. The report below will outline the conference, discuss white papers created for the conference, identify the research questions that were proposed, and discuss the significance of this conference to generate initiatives for the field of mental health and primary care integration research and policy. 

Research Recommendations

Access the papers from the Collaborative Care Research Network Research Development Conference published by the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research - A National Agenda for Research in Collaborative Care(