Applying Surveillance and Screening to Family Psychosocial Issues: Implications for the Medical Home


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Abstract

Within the medical home, understanding the family and community context in which children live is critical to optimally promoting children's health and development. How to best identify psychosocial issues likely to have an impact on children's development is uncertain. Professional guidelines encourage pediatricians to incorporate family psychosocial screening within the context of primary care, yet few providers routinely screen for these issues. The authors propose applying the core principles of surveillance and screening, as applied to children's development and behavior, to also address family psychosocial issues during health supervision services. Integrating psychosocial surveillance and screening into the medical home requires changes in professional training, provider practice, and public policy. The potential of family psychosocial surveillance and screening to promote children's optimal development justifies such changes.

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