Kolobova I, Wronski S, Wamble D, Black H. Assessment strategy trends in social determinants of health. Poster presented at the 2020 Society of Behavioral Medicine's 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions (Conference cancelled); April 2020. San Francisco, CA.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that social and environmental factors (20%) and behavior (40%) contribute to premature death more than inadequate clinical care (10%) and genetics (20%-30%) (Adler & Prather, 2015). Despite the limited contribution of clinical care, health care systems, payers, and providers are becoming increasingly responsible for the overall health of their patients and the costs associated with their care (Santilli & Vogenberg, 2015). Health care payers, systems, and providers are increasingly utilizing various screening strategies to understand the needs of their patient population, in efforts to implement interventions to address those needs. A systematic literature review with a supplemental grey literature review was completed to identify which screening strategies and interventions payers, healthcare systems, and providers use to identify and address patients’ social risk factors and social needs in the areas of economic stability, education, social and community contexts, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environments.

The review included literature from Medline, Medline in-Process, PsycINFO, and CINAHL published between January 2011 to June 2019 and a desktop search of 20 publicly-available sources. Studies were based in the US, screened for or addressed at least one social risk factor, and screening efforts or interventions were facilitated by a healthcare payer, system or provider. Screening of 8,067 articles identified 261 studies that included a screening method or tool for one of the five social risk factors listed above. This poster only focuses on the findings related to screening strategies. Findings related to interventions are presented elsewhere.

Healthcare payers, systems, and providers are using a variety of screening strategies, beyond just structured tools. Screening strategies tended to focus on one domain of social needs, rather than across all five domains. Healthcare payers, systems, and providers are increasingly trying to identify the social needs of their patient population. There are multiple strengths and weaknesses to consider when selecting which screening approach to utilize.

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