Determining the impact of using a social determinants of health screening tool in identifying unmet needs, barriers to care, and basic awareness of social resources
Review TypeFaculty Approved: Degree-based Submission
Repository Posting Date2020-07-21T22:44:28Z
Author DetailsMaelene Schuhmacher-Omar, MA, BSN, RN (Primary Author); Kari Wade EdD, MSN, RN, CNE (secondary Author)
Lead Author Sigma AffliationTau Tau
TypeDNP Capstone Project
Level of EvidenceDescriptive/Correlational
Research ApproachQuantitative Research
KeywordsSocial Determinants of Health; SDOH; Social Determinants; Social Capital; Health Outcomes; Barriers to Healthcare; Socially Complex Individuals; Health Screening Tool
The purpose of this project was to determine if conducting a short, social determinants of health (SDOH) assessment identified one or more unmet needs, one or more barriers to care, and to assess basic awareness of social resources. Conditions affecting people where they work and live have a strong influence on health outcomes. Social complexity, meaning having one or more unmet need, is directly related to poorer health outcomes. Individuals marginalized by poor social capital, health inequities and ongoing disparities, especially those in low income populations, experience higher morbidity and mortality. These unmet needs also affect the shared-decision making process between patients and providers and make clinical interventions much less impactful. On the contrary, adequate social capital is associated with better health outcomes, especially related to chronic disease management.
Typically, there is no clinical standard of care regarding the use of an assessment tool to identify socially complex individuals. The implementation of a short, 10-minute survey in a free clinic for this project was both easy to implement and feasible to accomplish. The results of the survey demonstrated that the tool was effective at identifying unmet needs, barriers to care, and assessing for basic knowledge of community resources. Demographic data collected on the survey provided information on the potential connection between low social capital and unmet needs and barriers to care. As a result, clinical practice changes are needed to include a standard of care to assess for social complexity and develop targeted interventions to mitigate the effects of low social capital while improving collaboration between key elements of social and medical care.
Degree GrantorNebraska Methodist College
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