Screening for basic social needs at a medical home for low-income children

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2009 Jan;48(1):32-6. doi: 10.1177/0009922808320602. Epub 2008 Jun 19.


The goals of this cross-sectional study were to (a) describe the prevalence of 5 basic social needs in a cohort of parents attending an urban teaching hospital-based pediatric clinic, (b) assess parental attitudes toward seeking assistance from their child's provider, and (c) examine resident providers' attitudes and behaviors toward addressing these needs. Parents (n = 100) reported a median of 2 basic needs at the pediatric visit. The most common was employment (52%), followed by education (34%), child care (19%), food (16%), and housing (10%). Most parents (67%) had positive attitudes toward requesting assistance from their child's pediatrician. The majority of resident providers (91%) believed in the importance of addressing social needs; however, few reported routinely screening for these needs (range, 11% to 18%). There is great potential for assisting low-income parents within the medical home. Further practice-based interventions are needed to enhance providers' self-efficacy to screen and address low-income families' needs at pediatric visits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / standards*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parents / psychology
  • Poverty*
  • United States
  • Young Adult