State report: Over half of Mass. residents have unmet health-related social needs


DATE : June 30, 2021

 

A new state report has found more than half of Massachusetts residents have unmet health-related social needs. 

The new study from the Center for Health Information and Analysis used the 2019 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey follow-up study to determine the prevalence of unmet health-related social needs. These cover issues such as food insecurity, housing instability, financial strain and employment instability in their families. 

The key findings from the study are: 

  • The majority (52%) of Massachusetts residents and their families had at least one unmet HRSN in 2019. 
     
  • Approximately one-third (34%) of residents and families reported multiple unmet HRSNs. 
     
  • Food insecurity, housing instability, and employment instability each affected about a quarter of residents and their families. 
     
  • The most common unmet HRSN was financial strain, which affected 34% of residents and their families. 
     
  • Unmet HRSNs are most common for residents with very low or low income, residents of color, and residents in single-parent families. 

“This research brief provides the first statewide estimate on the prevalence of unmet health-related social needs in the Commonwealth,”  CHIA Executive Director Ray Campbell said in a press release. “This brief addresses an important gap in understanding on this topic by examining the burden these unmet needs place on Massachusetts residents and families.” 

The full brief is available online.

 

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