Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate if and how frequently Ohio occupational and physical therapists are screening for social determinants of health within their patient population. Method: A cross sectional electronic survey was sent out to all occupational and physical therapists in the state of Ohio who have an active license with the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board (There is a single board in Ohio that represents all three of these disciplines.). Frequencies and cross tabulations were analyzed to determine relationships between asking about social determinants of health and various demographic factors. Results: Of the 18,416 surveys sent out, 1,639 surveys were returned and eligible for analysis. Sixty six percent of respondents indicated they were screening for social determinants of health at least half of the time. While patient discomfort was indicated as the greatest barrier to screening for social determinants of health, 20% of respondents stated they experience no barriers. Additionally, demographic factors such as clinical affiliations, years practiced, membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association or American Physical Therapy Association, and profession did not impact the frequency of screening for social determinants of health. On the other hand, factors such as working in the home health setting, having a Doctor of Science, Education, or Philosophy degree, having a post-graduate certification and specialization, and having participated in a fellowship program showed slightly higher rates of screening. Conclusions: The majority of occupational and physical therapists in the state of Ohio report they are screening for social determinants of health at least half of the time, and few differences were noted between demographic factors. While some barriers to screening have been identified, further research should be done to gain a better understanding of these barriers and how to address them. Additionally, further research may be needed to identify if therapists are truly addressing social needs or addressing contextual factors.
Pullar Z, Bertke C, Richard K, Tafelski K, Hassen-Miller A. Screening for Social Determinants of Health in Ohio Physical and Occupational Therapists. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Dec 15;22(1), Article 22.