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

Arvin Garg, Arlene M. Butz, Paul H. Dworkin, Rooti A. Lewis, Janet R. Serwint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalClinical pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009



  • Basic needs
  • Low income
  • Medical home
  • Pediatrician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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