Physician Survey Suggests that Meeting Social Needs Critical to Good Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently released Health Care’s Blind Side: The Overlooked Connection between Social Needs and Good Health, detailing the findings of a recent survey of physicians. According to the results, four in five physicians say patients’ social needs are as important to address as their medical conditions. Results revealed that, if physicians had the power to write prescriptions for social needs, they would prescribe fitness programs, nutritional food and transportation assistance. Physicians whose patients are mostly urban and low-income also wish they could write prescriptions for employment assistance, adult education and housing assistance.

A recent op-ed in the New York Times summarizes a comparative study of 30 industrialized nations and makes similar conclusions about the need for social service support in achieving better health outcomes.

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