Multiple Behavior Change Intervention to Improve Detection of Unmet Social Needs and Resulting Resource Referrals
Published in: Academic Pediatrics, 2015
Posted on RAND.org on July 30, 2015
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 < .001). Among H&Ps with documented use of IHELP, specificity was 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.87–0.99) and sensitivity was 0.63 (95% confidence interval 0.50-0.73). Social work provided resources for 78% of positively screened families. The median duration of screening use by residents after the intervention was 8.1 months (interquartile range 1-10 months). CONCLUSIONS: A brief intervention increased resident screening and detection of social needs, leading to important referrals to address those needs.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.