Social Needs Screening Tool Comparison Table

The SIREN team compiles the content of several of the most widely used social health screening tools to facilitate comparisons. The table below summarizes characteristics for each tool, including information about the intended population or setting, total number of questions, social health domains covered, and domain-specific measures used. To view a specific screening tool in its entirety, click on the column heading. To compare questions used across different tools for the same domain (e.g. food security), click on the row heading. Scroll to the right to see the full table.

The table below includes screening tools either designed for older adults or that are not age-specific; click here to access a table comparing social needs screening tools developed specifically for pediatric settings.

A note on validity: Inclusion of a tool below does not necessarily mean that the tool or the questions contained therein has been “validated”. While some specific questions or tools have been studied,1-4 validity has many different dimensions (e.g., criterion validity [predictive, convergent], construct [structural]), and none of the tools below has been vetted through all steps of gold standard measure development or had all types of validity assessed. You can find more information about validity studies done on different social risk screening tools by watching this webinar, reading this paper, or visiting the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute website on this topic. As we learn about new tool validation studies, we will add citations to the table below and the SIREN Evidence and Resource Library.

If you would like to suggest a tool for inclusion in this table, please contact us.

Download the table (combining adult and pediatric tools) as an Excel file.

 

  AAFP-Tool Access Health: Spartanburg AHC-Tool Arlington BMC-Thrive  HealthBegins  Health Leads MLP IHELLP Medicare Total Health Assessment NAM domains NC Medicaid  PRAPARE  Structural Vulnerability Assessment Tool  WellRx  Your Current Life Situation
 # Social  Needs  Questions 15 10 19 11 11 24 10 10 9 12 11 17 37 10 19
 # Non-Social  Needs  Questions 0 28 8 0 0 4 0 0 30 12 0 4 6 1 10
 Patient or  Clinic  Population NS NS Medicare & Medicaid NS NS NS NS NS Medicare NS Medicaid CHCs NS PC NS
 Reading  Level* 7th grade 5th grade 8th grade 10th grade 7th grade 11th grade 6th grade 8th grade College 6th grade 5th grade 8th grade 6th grade 2nd grade 9th grade
 Reported  Completion  Time NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR 10 - 20 min. NR NR NR NR NR NR
 Languages Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Swahili, Vietnamese 25 languages Spanish
 Scoring Y N Y N N Y N N N N N N N N N
 Cost Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
 Benefits               1         2    
 Caregiver  Responsibilities                             1
 Childcare  Access &  Affordability 1           1         1   1 1
 Civic  Engagement           1                  
 Clothing                       1      
 Disabilities     2                        
 Discrimination                         4    
 Education 1 2 1   1 3   1   2   1 1 1  
 Employment 1 1 1   1 1   1       1 3 2  
 Financial  Strain 1   1 1   2       1     3   1
 Food  Insecurity 2 1 2 1 3 1 1   2   2 1 1 1 3
 Health Care /  Medicine  Access &   Affordability   1     1   1         2     2
 Housing  Insecurity /  Instability /   Homelessness 1   1 1 2 2 1 2 1   2 2 2 1 2
 Housing  Quality 1   1 1   1   1 1       1   1
 Immigration /  Migrant Status  / Refugee     Status           1   2       2 3    
 Incarceration                       1 1    
 Income   1           3   1**   1      
 Interpersonal  Violence (IPV) 4   4 2   4   3   4 3 1 1 2 3
 Literacy   2         1           3   1
 Neighborhood  Safety           1           1 4 1 1
 Power of  Attorney /  Guardianship               1 1            
 Social Support     2 1   5 1   2 4   1 2   5
 Stress     1     1     2 1   1     2
 Transportation 1   1 1 1 1 1       1 1   1 2
 Utilities 1   1 1 1   1       1 2   1 1
 Veteran Status   2                   1      
 Workplace  Safety                         2    
 Desire for  Assistance /  Urgent Needs 1   Integrated into some domains; see domain-specific questions 2 Integrated into “food security” domain Integrated into "civic engagement"; see domain-specific question 2 Integrated into "Immigration"; see domain-specific question 1   2   Integrated into “Benefits” domain Integrated into some domains; see domain-specific questions 2
 Health  Behaviors /  Behavioral  Health /   Health Status     MH, PA, SU     DP, PA     AU,DP, HS, MH, PA, TU AA, MH, PA, TU       AA, SA  
*Reading level assessed using the consensus score obtained from http://www.readabilityformulas.com/free-readability-formula-tests.php.
**Geocoded
NS = Non-Specified; NR = Not Reported; AU = Alcohol Abuse, DP = Dietary Pattern; DU = Drug Use; HC = Health Confidence; HS = Health/functional status; MH = Mental Health (including depression), PA = Physical Activity, TU = Tobacco Use
1. Hager ER, Quigg AM, Black MM, et al. Development and validity of a 2-item screen to identify families at risk for food insecurity. Pediatrics. 2010;126(1):e26-32.
2. Baer TE, Scherer EA, Fleegler EW, Hassan A. Food insecurity and the burden of health-related social problems in an urban youth population. J Adolesc Health. 2015;57(6):601-607.
3. Gundersen C, Engelhard EE, Crumbaugh AS, Seligman HK. Brief assessment of food insecurity accurately identifies high-risk us adults. Public Health Nutr. 2017;20(8):1367-1371.
4. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Committee on the Recommended Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures for Electronic Health Records. Capturing social and behavioral domains in electronic health records: Phase 2. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2014.
Table updated September 2020