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Multiple behavior change intervention to improve detection of unmet social needs and resulting resource referrals

J.D. Colvin, J.L. Bettenhausen, K.D. Anderson-Carpenter, V. Collie-Akers, L. Plencner, M. Krager, B. Nelson, S. Donnelly, J. Simmons, V. Higinio, P.J. Chung
Acad Pediatr

Objective: It is critical that pediatric residents learn to effectively screen families for active and addressable social needs (ie, negative social determinants of health). We sought to determine 1) whether a brief intervention teaching residents about IHELP, a social needs screening tool, could improve resident screening, and 2) how accurately IHELP could detect needs in the inpatient setting.

Methods: During an 18-month period, interns rotating on 1 of 2 otherwise identical inpatient general pediatrics teams were trained in IHELP. Interns on the other team served as the comparison group. Every admission history and physical examination (H&P) was reviewed for IHELP screening. Social work evaluations were used to establish the sensitivity and specificity of IHELP and document resources provided to families with active needs. During a 21-month postintervention period, every third H&P was reviewed to determine median duration of continued IHELP use.

Results: A total of 619 admissions met inclusion criteria. Over 80% of intervention team H&Ps documented use of IHELP. The percentage of social work consults was nearly 3 times greater on the intervention team than on the comparison team (P

Conclusions: A brief intervention increased resident screening and detection of social needs, leading to important referrals to address those needs.

Colvin JD, Bettenhausen JL, Anderson-Carpenter KD, et al. Multiple behavior change intervention to improve detection of unmet social needs and resulting resource referrals. Acad Pediatr. 2016;16(2):168-174. PMID: 26183003. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2015.06.001.

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Peer Reviewed Research
Provider Experience of Care
Children and Youth
Health Care Professionals
Screening research
Social Determinant of Health
Economic Security
Health Care Access
Housing Quality
Housing Stability
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Other Study Design