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Addressing the social needs of Spanish- and English-speaking families in pediatric primary care

S. Polk, K.M. Leifheit, B.S. Solomon, L.R. DeCamp
Acad Pediatr.

Objectives: To describe the social needs of families working with Health Leads (HL) at 18 pediatric practices in 9 US cities and how reported social needs and success addressing them varied according to parents’ preferred healthcare language. Methods: We evaluated the social needs of English and Spanish-speakers that received assistance from HL from September 2013 to August 2015. The study sample included 11,661 households in the 4 regions where HL provided support within pediatric primary care practices. We used multivariable regression stratified by region to assess the association between language and successful resource connections. Results: Reported social needs differed by language. Spanish speakers most frequently reported needs related to food (e.g., food stamps, WIC and food pantries). English speakers most frequently reported child-related needs (e.g., childcare vouchers, Head Start and school enrollment). The association between household language and the odds of a successful resource connection varied by region. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of considering language barriers and community context when addressing unmet social needs as part of primary care.

Polk S, Leifheit KM, Thornton R, Solomon BS, DeCamp LR. Addressing the social needs of Spanish- and English-speaking families in pediatric primary care. Acad Pediatr. 2020 Nov-Dec;20(8):1170-1176. PMID: 32200111. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2020.03.004

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Publication year
Resource type
Peer Reviewed Research
Social Needs/ SDH
Children and Youth
Social Determinant of Health
Study design
Other Study Design