A pilot evaluation of social needs among gynecologic oncology patients in inpatient versus outpatient settings

Authors: , , , , ,


The WHO defines social determinants of health (SDoH) as the conditions in which we are born, grow, work, and live as well as other large systems that positively or negatively affect our health. Many healthcare systems currently lack the resources and strategies required to accurately assess and address SDoH. Action must be taken because studies have found that chronic diseases, including cancer, are affected by SDoH. The aim of this study is to identify the incidence of social needs in an inpatient gynecologic oncology population and its relation to patient demographics and clinical diagnostic data to guide and inform future intervention. Patients agreeing to participate in the study completed a needs assessment survey during their inpatient stay at the hospital between November 2020 to March 2021. The survey contained seven questions, six of which were questions screening for social needs including food and housing security, transportation means, financial stability, health literacy, and social support. Responses were considered positive if any degree of need was reported. Demographic and cancer diagnosis data were then collected and included zip code, race, cancer stage and age at diagnosis, treatment history, and number of hospital admissions and length of stay over the past 12 months. The most substantial reported needs across all gynecologic malignancies were social support (65%), health literacy (37%), and financial need (22%). Less need was reported in the categories of food (11%), housing (7%), and transportation (4%). SDoH have been studied in the outpatient gynecologic population and the needs seen in this study are similar to the needs of that population. However, there are likely different challenges and frequencies of unmet need in the different types of gynecologic cancers that may affect the stage at which their cancer is diagnosed as well as the number of hospital admissions related to their cancer care.

Keywords: Social determinants of health, women’s health, health disparities, social needs, gynecologic oncology

How to Cite: Greenwood, A. , Nora, A. , Hartman, C. , Summers, K. , Syrop, C. & Haugsdal, M. L. (2023) “A pilot evaluation of social needs among gynecologic oncology patients in inpatient versus outpatient settings”, Proceedings in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 12(1). doi: