Food Insecurity Screening of Hospitalized Patients: A Descriptive Analysis.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to describe an advocacy effort to implement a food insecurity (FI) screening during hospital admission and describe characteristics of hospitalized patients with household FI. METHODS: This is a descriptive study after the implementation of FI screening at a quaternary-care children's hospital in the Southeastern United States between August 2020 and April 2021. The Hunger Vital Sign, a 2-question screening tool for FI, was added to the intake questionnaire performed on inpatient admissions. A positive screen triggered a social work consult to connect patients with resources. Chart review and statistical analyses were performed on patients with household FI. RESULTS: There were 7751 hospital admissions during the study period, of which 4777 (61.6%) had an FI screen completed. Among those with a completed screen, 233 patients (4.9%) were positive for household FI. Patients with household FI were more likely to be Black (P <.001) and have Medicaid (P <.001). Social work documented care specific to FI in 125 of the 233 (56%) FI patients, of which 39 (31%) were not enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children Program/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. CONCLUSIONS: This initiative highlights hospitalization as an opportunity to screen for FI using a multidisciplinary approach. Our findings underscore the importance of identifying FI with the goal of reducing FI and mitigating the adverse effects of FI on child health outcomes.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • Child, Family Characteristics, Female, Food Assistance, Food Insecurity, Humans, Infant, Mass Screening, Medicaid, United States
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hanna SL; Wu CL; Smola C; Coyne-Beasley T; Orr M; Healy A; Molina AL
  • Start Page

  • e196
  • End Page

  • e200
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 6