Social Needs Assessment in Women of Reproductive Age vs. the General Population

dc.creatorHolley, Bethanyen_US
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-9150-2342 (Holley, Bethany)
dc.description.abstractPurpose The objective is to identify the most prominent social needs among women of reproductive age and how it impacts their health and ability to access health care. In 2018, the CDC reported that most preventable deaths among women of reproductive age are due to broader failures of social support. Despite comprising over half of the population and influencing the majority of healthcare decisions, there is minimal discourse within the industry regarding the distinct impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) on women. Methods Retrospective chart review of 1,478 completed social needs assessments among patients who visited the University of North Texas Health Science Center Central Family Medicine Clinic from June 2020 to December 2023. The PRAPARE (Protocol for Responding to & Assessing Patients’ Assets, Risks, & Experiences) screening tool, a nationally standardized tool created by the National Association of Community Health Centers, was used to assess social needs. The data was separated into two groups: reproductive-aged women 18-45 years old (288 patients) and the remainder of the study population (1,190 patients). The remainder of the study population was comprised of 752 females and 438 males, ranging in age from 1-90 years old. Descriptive statistical analysis was used to quantify the social needs among reproductive-aged women compared to the remainder of the study population. Results In each social needs category assessed by the PRAPARE screening tool, reproductive-aged women constitute a comparable or larger percentage of individuals impacted by the social need in question compared to the general population. Reproductive-aged women are most significantly affected by increased stress levels, inadequate healthcare access, difficulty obtaining childcare, unemployment, and domestic violence. Conclusions Reproductive-aged women have elevated and diverse SDOH-related needs, with notable disparities observed across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic dimensions. In order to efficiently alleviate the effects of SDOH on reproductive-aged women, stakeholders must proactively invest in enhancing the capability of healthcare providers to identify and address SDOH-related needs. This includes actively involving reproductive health care providers, who often serve as the initial and primary point of contact within the healthcare system for women in this age group. As healthcare expenses in the United States continue to rise and disparities in health care access and outcomes persist, concentrating solely on clinical aspects of health proves inadequate. It is evident that effectively mitigating health disparities requires industry leaders to comprehend and allocate resources toward addressing the unique needs arising from social conditions.en_US
dc.titleSocial Needs Assessment in Women of Reproductive Age vs. the General Populationen_US