Facilitators and barriers of sociodemographic data collection in Canadian health care settings: A multisite case study evaluation

Int J Equity Health

Background: Despite growing awareness of the importance of social determinants of health, research remains limited about the implementation of sociodemographic data collection in Canadian health care settings. Little is known about the salient contextual factors that enable or hinder collection and use of social information to improve quality of care in clinical settings. This study examines the perceptions and experiences of managers and care providers to better understand how to support organizational efforts to collect and use sociodemographic data to provide equity-oriented care.

Methods: Case studies of three diverse urban health care settings employed semi-structured individual and group interviews with managers and care providers respectively to explore their experiences with implementation. Data was analyzed separately and in context for each site as part of an individual case study. A thematic analysis of interview transcripts was performed with an inductive approach to coding of segments of the text. Constructs of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) were used as an analytical framework to structure the data to support cross case comparisons of facilitators and barriers to implementation across settings.

Results: Several perceived facilitators and barriers to implementation were identified that clustered around three CFIR domains: intervention, inner setting and characteristics of individuals. Macro level (outer setting) factors were relatively unexplored. Sites were motivated by their recognition of need for social information to improve quality of care. Organizational readiness for implementation was demonstrated by priorities that reflected concern for equity in care, leadership support and commitment to an inclusive process for stakeholder engagement. Barriers included perceived relevance of only a subset of sociodemographic questions to service delivery, staff capacity and comfort with data collection as well as adequate resources (funding and time).

Conclusion: Although system level mandates were underexplored, they may accelerate adoption and implementation of sociodemographic data collection in the presence of organizational readiness. Standardized tools integrated into information systems and workflows would support adequately trained personnel. More research is needed to understand important factors in rural health settings and with clinical application to inform care delivery pathways.

Williams-Roberts H, Neudorf C, Abonyi S, Cushon J, Muhajarine N. Facilitators and barriers of sociodemographic data collection in Canadian health care settings: A multisite case study evaluation. Int J Equity Health. 2018;17(1):186. PMID: 30591045. DOI: 10.1186/s12939-018-0903-0.

Publication Year: 
2018
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Other Study Design
Social Determinant of Health: 
Not Specified
Screening Research: 
No
Keywords: