PQA and Patient Advocate Foundation Will Develop a Patient-Centered SDOH Research Agenda

PCORI-Funded Project Focused on Patients’ Unmet Social Needs and Pharmacy Role in Addressing

Alexandria, Va. (November 10, 2021) – The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) and the Patient Advocate Foundation’s (PAF) Patient Insight Institute will convene patient and pharmacy stakeholders to develop a patient-centered outcomes research agenda to improve social determinants of health (SDOH) screenings and interventions in pharmacy settings.

As the most accessible health care providers, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to play a major role in addressing SDOH. These non-medical factors account for up to 90% of health outcomes, yet only 24% of hospitals and 16% of physician practices screen for social risk associated with SDOH. Community pharmacies are increasingly implementing initiatives to expand patient access to care and address unmet social needs as barriers to care.  

“There are pharmacy-based SDOH screening tools, but none have been developed with patient input and focused on the outcomes they desire,” said PQA Senior Director of Research Melissa Castora-Binkley, PhD. “We will establish patient-centered research priorities to enable projects that identify and address SDOH that are meaningful to patients and feasible to address in the pharmacy setting with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.”

“More evidence is needed to understand how best to implement SDOH initiatives in community pharmacies that drive patients to effective resources and improve patient outcomes,” said project co-lead and PAF Vice President for Patient Experience Rebekah Angove, PhD. “By co-creating a research agenda with patients and pharmacy stakeholders, this project will ensure that we’re focused on what matters most to patients and how they view social determinants in relation to their health.”

The yearlong project is funded by the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, an initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). It expands PQA’s medication access and SDOH research portfolio, which is focused on improving care by targeting patients’ unmet social needs and evaluating the barriers to accessing medications. The project features an in-person workshop that will be held in conjunction with the PQA Annual Meeting, May 3-5, in Baltimore, Md.


Contact: Rachel Cormier, Communications Coordinator, [email protected]