Published: 02 August, 2021 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 067-072
Objective: To examine the association between adverse social determinants of health (SDH) and missed well-child visits and the interaction with the level of caregiver social support.
Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of data collected from a SDH screening program conducted during well-child visits with referral, navigation and follow-up services for patients. We included 573 adult caregivers who accompanied patients aged 0-5 years to well-child visits and completed the screening from August 2017 to May 2018. The caregivers reported financial hardship, food insecurity, housing challenges, childcare difficulty, transportation issues, insurance difficulty, job difficulty, and education needs. Our primary outcome was a no-show (i.e., missed) to a well-child visit. Social support was dichotomized as low or high.
Results: Among 573 patients who completed the screening, 335 patients (76.4%) had at least one social need. Financial hardship (p = 0.006), housing instability (p = 0.002), and no/poor childcare (p = 0.03) were associated with missed well-child visits. In multivariable regression analysis, having Medicaid (aOR = 1.91 [1.17-3.10]) and unstable housing (aOR = 6.79 [1.35-34.70]) were both associated with missed well-child visits. However, when social support was added to the multivariable logistic model, both Medicaid and unstable housing were no longer associated with missed well-child visits.
Conclusion: Adverse SDH such as financial hardship, housing instability, and childcare difficulty were associated with missed well-child visits. However, with the addition of social support, this association was no longer significant. This study supports the hypothesis that high social support may mitigate the association between well-child visits among families experiencing adverse SDH.