Screening for social determinants of health in Michigan health centers

Elena Byhoff*, Alicia J. Cohen, Mary C. Hamati, Julie Tatko, Matthew M. Davis, Renuka Tipirneni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: Through an academic-community partnership with a statewide consortium of health centers (HCs) in Michigan, we characterize the current scope of screening for social determinants of health (SDH). Methods: We requested copies of forms used to screen for SDH at the 39 HC organizations in Michigan. Using content analysis, we examined variation in screening domains and processes. We present descriptive analyses of HC characteristics and patient demographics. Results: We received screening documentation from 23 of the 39 HCs (59%), representing 167 delivery sites. We found broad empiric consensus regarding a core set of 13 SDH screening domains that align with nationally recommended screening guidelines. Two additional domains, Culture and Functional Status, were screened for by <40% of HCs. While patient self-report is the most frequent mode of SDH screening (41%), many HCs use staff members to administer the screening documents. Conclusions: HCs across a large and diverse state are screening for SDH and largely agree on core SDH screening domains. Using existing empiric data from frontline providers can inform potential best practices in SDH screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-427
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Community health centers
  • Michigan
  • Screening
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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