Chapter 2 Social Determinants of Health and Optimizing Clinical Decision Making


Chapter 2 Social Determinants of Health and Optimizing Clinical Decision Making



An understanding of the influence of social determinants of health on health outcomes in pediatric physical therapy is the basis for effective, equitable and collaborative care. This course will help pediatric physical therapists integrate these considerations as a necessary component of clinical decision making. The course includes a combination of asynchronous lectures, readings, and brief worksheets, along with a capstone project that explicitly encourages participants to apply and reflect on course information. The synchronous sessions will include lecture and small group discussion and interaction around key concepts. The first 2-hour session will provide definitions of social determinants of health, health equity, and health disparities. This will lead to an exploration of the economic, educational, health care and neighborhood-built environment aspects of social determinants of health, along with the overlapping cultural and structural systems. The focus will be on an upstream perspective of the root causes of health disparities. Strategies for optimizing health outcomes will be introduced including screening for social determinants of health needs and cultural responsiveness.

The second session, also 2 hours, will continue to provide strategies for optimizing health outcomes for children and families receiving pediatric physical therapy. The focus will be on anti-racism, exploring implicit biases, microaggressions, trauma-informed care, and clinical decision making integrating non-medical factors.

The final sessions will clarify the intersection of pediatric physical therapy and social determinants of health. Participants will share information from capstone projects and discuss these with course instructors and co-participants. The focus on practical strategies to incorporate social determinants of health into pediatric physical therapy patient management will support the clinician in equitable practice and the educator in preparing students to meet the needs of a diverse society.

Session Dates/ Times: All Wednesdays from 7:00-9:00 pm eastern time: June 25, July 31, September 4, and September 13

This course will provide 11.5 CEUs and include a combination of lecture, discussion, case focus, and pre-session worksheets


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