Dr. Andrew Maroko, professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and colleagues examined integrating social determinants of health with treatment and prevention. The findings were published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.
[Photo: Dr. Andrew Maroko]
As the health care system shifts toward value-based planning and purchasing, new tools are needed to integrate social determinants of health into clinical and preventive care to improve population health and reduce health care disparities. The research team refined the area deprivation index, testing its association with health outcomes at various geographic levels.
The research team assessed the appropriate geographic scale to apply an area deprivation index, which reflects a geographic area’s level of socioeconomic deprivation and is associated with health outcomes, to identify and screen patients for social determinants of health. They estimated the relative strength of the association between the area deprivation index at various geographic levels and a range of hospitalization rates by using age-adjusted odds ratios in an 8-county region of New York State. The 10-km local area deprivation index estimates had the strongest associations with all hospitalization rates (higher odds ratios) followed by estimates at 20 km, 30 km, and the regional scale. A locally sensitive area deprivation index is an ideal measure to identify and screen for the health care and social services needs and to advance the integration of social determinants of health with clinical treatment and disease prevention.