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Institute of Medicine measures of social and behavioral determinants of health: A feasibility study

N.B. Giuse, T.Y. Koonce, S.V. Kusnoor, A.A. Prather, L.M. Gottlieb, L.C. Huang, S.E. Phillips, Y. Shyr, N.E. Adler, W.W. Stead
Am J Prev Med

Introduction: Social and behavioral factors are known to affect health but are not routinely assessed in medical practice. To date, no studies have assessed a parsimonious panel of measures of social and behavioral determinants of health (SBDs). This study evaluated the panel of SBD measures recommended by the Institute of Medicine and examined the effect of question order.

Methods: Adults, aged >/=18 years, were recruited using for this randomized, parallel design study conducted in 2015 (data analyzed in 2015-2016). Three versions of the SBD measures, sharing the same items but in different orders of presentation (Versions 1-3), were developed. Randomized to six groups, participants completed each version at least 1 week apart (Weeks 1-3). Version order was counterbalanced across each administration and randomization was stratified by gender, race, and age. Main outcomes were effect of question order, completion time, and non-response rates.

Results: Of 781 participants, 624 (80%) completed the Week 1 questionnaire; median completion time for answering all SBD questions was 5 minutes, 583/624 participants answered all items, and no statistically significant differences associated with question order were observed when comparing responses across all versions. No significant differences in responses within assignment groups over time were found, with the exception of the stress measure for Group 5 (p=0.036).

Conclusion: Question order did not significantly impact participant responses. Time to complete the questionnaire was brief, and non-response rate was low. Findings support the feasibility of using the Institute of Medicine-recommended questionnaire to capture SBDs.

Giuse NB, Koonce TY, Kusnoor SV, et al. Institute of Medicine measures of social and behavioral determinants of health: a feasibility study. Am J Prev Med. 2017;52(2):199-206. PMID: 27659121. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.033.

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Publication year
Resource type
Peer Reviewed Research
Screening research
Social Determinant of Health
Economic Security
Social Support/Social Isolation
Study design
Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)