Title: Caregiver perceptions of social risk screening in pediatric liver transplantation: from the multicenter SOCIAL-Tx study
Source: Transplantation 2023, Oct 13. [E-publication]
Date of publication: October 2023
Publication type: Article
Abstract: Background: The social determinants of health contribute to adverse post-liver transplant outcomes. Identifying unmet social risks may enable transplant teams to improve long-term outcomes for at-risk children. However, providers may feel uncomfortable asking about household-level social risks in the posttransplant period because they might make their patients/families uncomfortable.
Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods analysis of caregiver participants (ie, parents/guardians of pediatric liver transplant recipients) in the Social and Contextual Impact on Children Undergoing Liver Transplantation study to assess their perceptions of provider-based social risk screening. Participants (N = 109) completed a 20-min social determinants of health questionnaire that included questions on the acceptability of being asked intimate social risk questions. A subset of participants (N = 37) engaged in an in-depth qualitative interview to share their perceptions of social risk screening.
Results: Of 109 participants across 9 US transplant centers, 60% reported financial strain and 30% reported at least 1 material economic hardship (eg, food insecurity, housing instability). Overall, 65% of respondents reported it very or somewhat appropriate and 25% reported being neutral to being screened for social risks in a liver transplant setting. In qualitative analyses, participants reported trust in the providers and a clear understanding of the intention of the screening as prerequisites for liver transplant teams to perform social risk screening.
Conclusions: Only a small minority of caregivers found social risk screening unacceptable. Pediatric liver transplant programs should implement routine social risk screening and prioritize the patient and family voices when establishing a screening program to ensure successful implementation.