Social Risk Screening for Pediatric Inpatients

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2016 Dec;55(14):1289-1294. doi: 10.1177/0009922815623498. Epub 2016 Jul 20.


This systematic review aims to identify existing social risk screening instruments applicable to hospitalized children (primary) and evaluate their content validity and methodological quality (secondary). Individual questions were abstracted and sorted by social risk theme. Content validity was evaluated by 13 hospital-based social workers. Methodological quality was assessed using the 108-item Consensus Based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist. A total of 1070 citations were evaluated and 146 articles were reviewed, which identified 44 unique instruments. No instrument was applicable to social risk in hospitalized children. Sixty-one percent of instruments focused on a single social risk theme and only 18% of instruments covered more than 5 themes. The 2 instruments with the highest combination of social worker endorsement and COSMIN scores each addressed only 1 social risk theme relevant to hospitalized children. A broad, content valid and methodologically strong social risk screening instrument for hospitalized children was not identified.

Keywords: determinants of health; homeless; housing; hunger; poverty; screening; social risk; violence.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Checklist / methods*
  • Child
  • Exposure to Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status*
  • Housing / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk
  • Social Environment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*