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Addressing social determinants of health in family medicine practices

Sand J, Morgan ZJ, Peterson LE
Popul Health Manag

Primary care practices are under pressure to address patients' social determinants of health (SDOH). However, the extent to which these practices have this ability remains unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the association between physician, practice, and community characteristics and the ability of family medicine practices to address patients' SDOH. This cross-sectional study used data from the American Board of Family Medicine Continuing Certification Questionnaire from 2017 to 2019, with a 100% response rate. Respondents rated their practice's ability to address SDOH, which was dichotomized as high or low. Sequential multivariate logistic regression determined the association of the reported ability to address SDOH with physician, practice, and community characteristics. Among 19,300 respondents, 55.6% reported a high ability to address patients' SDOH. Across models controlling for different groups of variables, characteristics persistently positively associated with ability to address SDOH included employment at a federally qualified health center (Odds Ratios [OR] = 2.111-3.012), federally funded clinic (OR = 1.999-2.897), managed care organization (OR = 2.038-2.303), and working collaboratively with a social worker (OR = 2.000-2.523) or care coordinator (OR = 1.482-1.681). Characteristics persistently negatively associated with the ability to address SDOH were practicing at an independently owned (OR = 0.726-0.812) or small practice (OR = 0.512-0.863). While results varied across models, these findings are important for developing evidence-based policies and recommendations for resource sharing and allocation in clinics and communities. Ensuring availability and access to allied health professionals and community resources may be key components in Family Medicine clinics addressing SDOH.

Sand J, Morgan ZJ, Peterson LE. Addressing social determinants of health in family medicine practices. Popul Health Manag. 2024;27(1):26-33. DOI:10.1089/pop.2023.0014. PMID: 37903238

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Resource type
Peer Reviewed Research
Provider Experience of Care
Social Determinant of Health
Not Specified
Study design
Other Study Design