Screening Children for Social Determinants of Health: A Systematic Review
Screening children for social determinants of health (SDOHs) has gained attention in recent years, but there is a deficit in understanding the present state of the science.
To systematically review SDOH screening tools used with children, examine their psychometric properties, and evaluate how they detect early indicators of risk and inform care.
Comprehensive electronic search of PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science Core Collection.
Studies in which a tool that screened children for multiple SDOHs (defined according to Healthy People 2020) was developed, tested, and/or employed.
Extraction domains included study characteristics, screening tool characteristics, SDOHs screened, and follow-up procedures.
The search returned 6274 studies. We retained 17 studies encompassing 11 screeners. Study samples were diverse with respect to biological sex and race and/or ethnicity. Screening was primarily conducted in clinical settings with a parent or caregiver being the primary informant for all screeners. Psychometric properties were assessed for only 3 screeners. The most common SDOH domains screened included the family context and economic stability. Authors of the majority of studies described referrals and/or interventions that followed screening to address identified SDOHs.
Following the Healthy People 2020 SDOH definition may have excluded articles that other definitions would have captured.
The extent to which SDOH screening accurately assessed a child’s SDOHs was largely unevaluated. Authors of future research should also evaluate if referrals and interventions after the screening effectively address SDOHs and improve child well-being.
Sokol, R; Austin, A; Chandler, C; Byrum, E; Bousquette, J; Lancaster, C; Doss, G; Dotson, A; Urbaeva, V; Singichetti, B; Brevard, K; Wright, ST; Lanier, P; Shanahan, M
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