Exploratory study of “real world” implementation of a clinical poverty tool in diverse family medicine and pediatric care settings
Poverty is associated with increased morbidity related to multiple child and adult health conditions and increased risk of premature death. Despite robust evidence linking income and health, and some recommendations for universal screening, poverty screening is not routinely conducted in clinical care.
We conducted an exploratory study of implementing universal poverty screening and intervention in family medicine and a range of pediatric care settings (primary through tertiary). After attending a training session, health care providers (HCPs) were instructed to perform universal screening using a clinical poverty tool with the question “Do you ever have difficulty making ends meet at the end of the month?” for the three-month implementation period. HCPs tracked the number of patients screened and a convenience sample of their patients were surveyed regarding the acceptability of being screened for poverty in a healthcare setting. HCPs participated in semi-structured focus groups to explore barriers to and facilitators of universal implementation of the tool.