Table 2.

Social Determinants of Health Addressed for 300 Patients Seen by a Social Worker at Three Primary Care Sites in 2014

SDH Classification Established by Wilkinson and Marmot1Patients for Whom the SDH Was Addressed (N = 300)*Examples from Social Work Note
Social Gradient: impact of monetary assets, occupational security/level, and housing circumstances200 (67)• Assisted patient in applying for medication assistance program
• Assisted patient in completing Medicaid application
• Provided patient information regarding subsidized housing
• Directed patient to financial assistance program for aid in affording home utilities
Social Support: impact of reliable emotional and tangible support systems75 (25)• Assessed patient's support system for daily activities
• Connected patient to home care nursing assistance
• Discussed with patient their sources of emotional support
Transport: the means to access the health system and exercise in safe environments43 (14)• Arranged patient's transportation to and from physician appointments via hospital van
• Assisted patient in completing application for cost-subsidized public transportation
Psychiatric Issues: need for referral to mental health provider37 (12)• Referred patient to on-site psychiatrist
• Referred patient to off-site counselor
Unemployment: increased risk of premature death14 (5)• Discussed patient's recent unemployment and future employment goals
• Provided patient information in renewing occupational license
• Assisted patient in obtaining proof of disability
Food: access to affordable healthy options12 (4)• Encouraged patient to apply for food stamps
• Educated patient regarding different home meal services
Stress: effects of anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem11 (4)• Briefly discussed patient's stress coping mechanisms
• Listened to patient describe stress of difficult marriage
Social Exclusion: effects of discrimination, debilitation, racism, stigmatization8 (3)• Discussed patient's difficulties upon recent release from prison
• Referred patient struggling with blindness to support center to help increase quality of life
Addiction: impact of alcohol, nicotine, and drug dependence6 (2)• Discussed different smoking cessation resource options
• Referred patient to on-site alcohol specialist
Work: impact of stress at work3 (1)• Provided patient information regarding job retraining opportunities following patient's recent injury
Early Life: impact of emotional and developmental experiences of childhood and adolescence2 (1)• Discussed how patient was affected by early relationships with family members
• Discussed patient's journey as an immigrant to this country
  • Data are n (%).

  • * The total of 300 includes 100 patients from each of 3 clinic sites.

  • Category added to the classification by Wilkinson and Marmot.1

  • SDH, social determinant of health.