Project Title

Social Determinants of Health in Belize Free Clinic

Authors' Affiliations

Kacie Hoyle Denton, Department of Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Claire Gleadhill, Department of Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Clinch Mtn

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

165

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Family Medicine

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jospeh Florence

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Student

Project's Category

Health of Underserved Populations, International Health, Public Health

Abstract Text

Abstract: Social Determinants of Health in Belize Free Clinic

Introduction: To determine the most appropriate ways to serve patients in rural Belize through medical mission work, it is important to assess social determinants of health (SDOH). It has long been agreed that a variety of factors affect health, including environment, community and social context, access to healthcare, stress, income, mental health, education, and transportation. Many people in Roaring Creek, Belize, a village with a population of approximately 2,000, use Body and Soul Ministries, a nonprofit that invites medical teams from all over to deliver medical care, as their primary source of healthcare. During one of these trips, a medical team from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) provided medical care and employed the TeamCare survey, already used in several clinics in east Tennessee to assess the SDOH needs of the patient population in Roaring Creek. The purpose of this study was to use a survey that assesses several SDOH to determine better ways to address health needs in the community of Roaring Creek as well as connect patients with resources to meet those needs.

Methods: A team of ETSU medical students, a resident, and five physicians served in a free clinic in Roaring Creek, Belize in October 2017. The team saw approximately 500 patients. Some patients were randomly selected to take the TeamCare survey to assess for six SDOH, including literacy, financial needs, drug use, abuse, transportation, and mental health. Based on the results of the survey, patients were connected with their local community health worker to assist in locating resources for patients. Using SPSS, results from the survey were arranged for frequencies and measures of central tendency.

Results: Overall, a total of 106 patients responded to the TeamCare survey. Based on the survey results, 83.2% of patients responded “yes” to at least one question regarding needs related to SDOH. In fact, 7.9% of patients answered “yes” to five questions. Of note, 53.5% of patients responded positively for financial need, 46.5% positive for mental health needs, 37.6% positive for environmental alcohol or drug abuse, and 32.7% positive for transportation needs. More women stated positively for physical or verbal abuse compared to men (-1.48, p=0.001).

Discussion and Conclusion:

Roaring Creek, Belize is a rural community that illustrates how SDOH can impact health outcomes. There has been a recent effort for clinicians to address SDOH, especially in rural areas, but perhaps not enough globally. One way this can be done is by surveying for SDOH at clinic visits and then linking patients with relevant community resources. However, resources are not always readily available in Roaring Creek, Belize. Many patients are positive for SDOH, but with an overall lack of resources, it is important to do more research to determine how global health efforts can best serve these populations. Perhaps the best way for SDOH needs to be addressed is for Body and Soul to collaborate with community health workers and mission teams to establish ongoing programs and longstanding resources for the community.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Social Determinants of Health in Belize Free Clinic

Clinch Mtn

Abstract: Social Determinants of Health in Belize Free Clinic

Introduction: To determine the most appropriate ways to serve patients in rural Belize through medical mission work, it is important to assess social determinants of health (SDOH). It has long been agreed that a variety of factors affect health, including environment, community and social context, access to healthcare, stress, income, mental health, education, and transportation. Many people in Roaring Creek, Belize, a village with a population of approximately 2,000, use Body and Soul Ministries, a nonprofit that invites medical teams from all over to deliver medical care, as their primary source of healthcare. During one of these trips, a medical team from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) provided medical care and employed the TeamCare survey, already used in several clinics in east Tennessee to assess the SDOH needs of the patient population in Roaring Creek. The purpose of this study was to use a survey that assesses several SDOH to determine better ways to address health needs in the community of Roaring Creek as well as connect patients with resources to meet those needs.

Methods: A team of ETSU medical students, a resident, and five physicians served in a free clinic in Roaring Creek, Belize in October 2017. The team saw approximately 500 patients. Some patients were randomly selected to take the TeamCare survey to assess for six SDOH, including literacy, financial needs, drug use, abuse, transportation, and mental health. Based on the results of the survey, patients were connected with their local community health worker to assist in locating resources for patients. Using SPSS, results from the survey were arranged for frequencies and measures of central tendency.

Results: Overall, a total of 106 patients responded to the TeamCare survey. Based on the survey results, 83.2% of patients responded “yes” to at least one question regarding needs related to SDOH. In fact, 7.9% of patients answered “yes” to five questions. Of note, 53.5% of patients responded positively for financial need, 46.5% positive for mental health needs, 37.6% positive for environmental alcohol or drug abuse, and 32.7% positive for transportation needs. More women stated positively for physical or verbal abuse compared to men (-1.48, p=0.001).

Discussion and Conclusion:

Roaring Creek, Belize is a rural community that illustrates how SDOH can impact health outcomes. There has been a recent effort for clinicians to address SDOH, especially in rural areas, but perhaps not enough globally. One way this can be done is by surveying for SDOH at clinic visits and then linking patients with relevant community resources. However, resources are not always readily available in Roaring Creek, Belize. Many patients are positive for SDOH, but with an overall lack of resources, it is important to do more research to determine how global health efforts can best serve these populations. Perhaps the best way for SDOH needs to be addressed is for Body and Soul to collaborate with community health workers and mission teams to establish ongoing programs and longstanding resources for the community.