Research Article|Articles in Press

Unmet Social Needs and Pediatric Asthma Severity in an Urban Primary Care Setting

Published:February 27, 2023DOI:


      Background and Objectives

      Community level social determinants of health impact asthma outcomes among children, however individual patient’s priorities are not often included in designing social care interventions. Identifying connections between patient-prioritized unmet social needs and asthma severity status may allow for improved patient-centered approaches to asthma management. In this analysis, we examined the association between unmet social needs and asthma severity in an urban population of children. We hypothesized that those with a greater number of unmet social needs would report a more severe asthma status.


      We conducted a secondary analysis of 4,887 patients screened for unmet social needs and asthma severity status. Bivariate associations and adjusted logistic regression modeling were used to assess the association between unmet social needs and asthma severity.


      Persistent asthma severity status was associated with several unmet social needs, including housing quality and stability, lack of money for food, transportation, and healthcare costs. In the multivariable analysis, having 3 or more unmet social needs was associated with a 59% greater odds of persistent asthma status (CI 1.18-2.14; P=0.002), and having two unmet social needs was associated with a 33% greater odds of persistent asthma status (CI 1.00-1.78; P=0.05).


      Unmet social needs were associated with asthma severity status, with a greater number of unmet social needs associated with a greater odds of severe asthma status. Additional studies are warranted to further evaluate the temporal relationship between unmet social needs and how they may compound one another in their relationship with asthma severity.


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