Associated factors with patient-reported unmet food needs among emergency department adult patients - a social need perspective
Prev Med Rep
Food insecurity is a complex problem affected by a number of factors from individual to societal. While individual-level demographic information and population-level social determinants of health (SDoH) are commonly used to identify patients at risk of food insecurity and to direct resources, a more comprehensive understanding of food insecurity requires integrating multi-level data. Our goal is to identify factors associated with food insecurity using patient, health system, and population level data. Between January 2019 and April 2020, we screened adult patients visiting an academic health sciences emergency department in Utah using a 10-item social needs screener. Patients' demographic data were linked to their screener responses. ZIP Code-level food-related SDoH such as accessibility to food providers, measured by geographic information systems methods, were assigned to patients. We then applied multilevel logistic regression modeling to identify factors associated with unmet food needs at two different levels-individual and ZIP Code. Unmet food needs were identified by asking patients if they felt there was not enough money for food in the last month, which grossly represents food insecurity. On a sample of 2,290 patients, 21.61% reported unmet food needs. Patient-reported housing, medical care, and utility needs along with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation and primary care provider utilization were highly associated with unmet food needs. Our efforts to identify the population at risk of food insecurity should be centered around patient-reported social needs. Our results suggest that addressing food insecurity in health care settings should include assessing social needs in primary care.
Sharareh N, Wallace AS, Brintz BJ, Wan N, Guo JW, Wong B. Associated factors with patient-reported unmet food needs among emergency department adult patients - a social need perspective. Prev Med Rep. 2022;29:101974. DOI:10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101974. PMID: 36161133