Social and Behavioral Determinants Project

Under the aegis of Dr. William Stead, the Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) is teaming with the University of California, San Francisco, to evaluate a panel of measures recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee for capturing patient data on the social and behavioral determinants of health in the clinical setting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and World Health Organization have all identified the social determinants of health as key to the improvement of health outcomes and reduction of health disparities. Research has demonstrated the connection between health outcomes and sociological and behavioral factors such as social connectedness, education level, and exercise habits. However, there is not currently a standardized method for collecting information on these elements during the clinical encounter.

The IOM committee, assembled in 2013, carefully considered and selected a panel of measures to recommend for clinical use based on their relevance to healthcare, proven validation, and ease of implementation. The CKM is building upon this work to perform the necessary evaluation of the feasibility and validity of administering the identified measures as a combined panel. The study team is investigating research questions important to the eventual implementation of the instrument, including considerations of question order and response patterns, time required for administration, and the extent to which questionnaire results align with previous research findings. The goal of this important work is to provide a proven measure to allow clinicians to understand and address social and behavioral influences on patient health.  The team’s results from this study are published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Giuse NB, Koonce TY, Kusnoor SV, Prather AA, Gottlieb LM, Huang LC, Phillips SE, Shyr Y, Adler NE, Stead WW.  Institute of Medicine Measures of Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health: A Feasibility Study.  Am J Prev Med (2016),

Prather AA, Gottlieb L, Giuse NB, Koonce TY, Kusnoor SV, Stead WW, Adler NE. National Academy of Medicine social and behavioral measures: associations with self-reported health. Am J Prev Med. Forthcoming 2017. Article in press and available online at