Screening for social needs: What do parents think?
Taking a child to the pediatrician is a rite of passage for parents. Most young children in the United States have up to 11 well-child visits in their first two years. Certain parts of the pediatric check-up are so ubiquitous as to be predictable even to new parents. Fill out medical forms? Check. Talk about vaccines? Check. Inspect the child’s ears? Check.
But there are some nonmedical factors, including where children live, that can influence their health more than any medical intervention does. As a result, pediatricians and their teams are beginning to screen their young patients for social needs such as food insecurity or inadequate housing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors screen families for “social determinants of health” and connect them to community resources as a part of standard care.
Brundage S. Screening For Social Needs: What Do Parents Think? Health Affairs Blog, July 30, 2019. DOI: 10.1377/hblog20190725.644326.