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When Families Do Not Request Help: Assessing a Social Determinants of Health Screening Tool in Practice

      Introduction

      Using pediatric social determinants of health screening data from a large medical system, we explored social needs dislosures and identified which needs were associated with resource connection requests.

      Method

      Data came from records of outpatient pediatric patients (0–18 years) seen between October 2018 and March 2020 (39,251 encounters). We assessed percent of encounters where families (1) indicated a social need, and (2) requested a resource connection. We conducted multivariable logistic regression to identify which needs were associated with resource connection requests.

      Results

      Among all encounters, 8% indicated a need and 2% requested a resource connection. Among families indicating a need, needs associated with resource requests included: housing (odds ratio [OR], 3.49 [2.42–5.03]), employment (OR, 3.15 [2.21–4.50]), food (OR, 1.89 [1.41–2.52]), and transportation (OR, 1.82 [1.30–2.56]).

      Discussion

      Families seldom requested resource connections to address social needs. Better understanding families’ interests in receiving assistance is an important next step in pediatric social determinants of health screening system development.

      Key words

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      Biography

      Rebeccah L. Sokol, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

      Biography

      Roshanak Mehdipanah, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI.

      Biography

      Kiana Bess, Doctoral Student, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI.

      Biography

      Layla Mohammed, Clinical Assistant Professor, Ypsilanti Health Center, University of Michigan, Ypsilanti, MI.

      Biography

      Alison L. Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI.