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A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Social and Behavioral Risk Screening Among Primary Care Patients.
Takada S, Shen Z, Bourgois P, Duru OK, Gelberg L, Han M, Javanbakht M, Shoptaw S, Wells K, Ryan G. A Qualitative Study of Perceptions and Preferences Regarding Social and Behavioral Risk Screening Among Primary Care Patients. Journal of general internal medicine. 2023 Nov 1; 38(14):3171-3179.
Despite its relevance for healthcare settings, social and behavioral risk screening is not systematically performed by clinicians or healthcare systems.
To address clinician concerns, such as social and behavioral risk screening disrupting the clinician-patient relationship and lack of resources to respond, we interviewed primary care patients at an academic medical center regarding their perceptions and preferences on social and behavioral risk screening.
Between September and December 2020, we recruited a convenience sample of 14 English-speaking primary care patients 18 years?+?from three clinics affiliated with an academic medical center.
Using a semi-structured interview guide, we asked about the importance of social and behavioral risk screening, whether or not and how to share social and behavioral risk factors, and how social and behavioral risk factors are addressed. We used a multi-step analytic process to identify the range and commonality of participants'' responses thematically.
Participants recognized that social and behavioral risk factor domains were relevant to primary care and important for treating the patient as a whole person. Participants preferred a conversation regarding social and behavioral risk factor with their primary care providers (PCPs), and suggested that, if surveys are used, they be followed with an open-ended, in-person discussion. Participants also suggested framing the discussion as something that is done routinely with all patients so that patients do not feel judged. Participants felt comfortable sharing social and behavioral risk factors when they trusted their PCPs, and felt that discussing social and behavioral risk factors with their PCPs built trust. Participants recognized that resources exist outside of the clinic, and suggested that PCPs distribute lists of relevant community resources to patients.
In our study of primary care patients on perceptions and preferences about screening and addressing social and behavioral risk factors, we found that patients were willing to share social and behavioral risk factors with their PCP, preferred an in-person discussions with or without a survey, and wanted a list of community resources to address their needs.