Dr. Christine Loock
Co-investigators and Collaborators:
Dr. Doug Courtemanche, Damian Duffy, and the OPSEI Team
This quality improvement study investigated how social determinants of health (SDoH) (factors like socioeconomic status, transportation, food and housing security, disability and social supports) influenced the lives of pediatric surgical patients and families. Data was gathered through surveys conducted in the outpatient clinics at our tertiary pediatric hospital. This was a non-interventional observational and mixed methods study with over 600 families. The 10 minute-30 question survey used in this study was synthesized by the Pediatrics and Surgery team as an amalgamation of current best practice available in the literature. The survey asked questions relating to: demographics, social and material capital, healthcare utilization and access, food, housing, and financial security, plus intrinsic resiliency and adversity measures based on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) clinical research in pediatric medical settings. Patient family participants were recruited in the ambulatory waiting rooms at the BC Children’s Hospital. Three multidisciplinary (Cleft Palate/ Craniofacial, Spinal Cord, and Visual Impairment) and 10 surgical clinics (Dentistry, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology & RICHER (Ophthalmology), Orthopedics, Cerebral Palsy (Orthopedic Surgery), Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, and Urology) participated in this study. Our results demonstrate that both social and economic stressors impact a significant proportion of BCCH patients and families. Data supports further QI interventions, including social history screening and social work availability during specialty pediatric and ambulatory clinic visits.