Measuring social determinants of health in the All of Us Research Program

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Sci Rep


To accelerate medical breakthroughs, the All of Us Research Program aims to collect data from over one million participants. This report outlines processes used to construct the All of Us Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) survey and presents the psychometric characteristics of SDOH survey measures in All of Us. A consensus process was used to select SDOH measures, prioritizing concepts validated in diverse populations and other national cohort surveys. Survey item non-response was calculated, and Cronbach's alpha was used to analyze psychometric properties of scales. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations between demographic categories and item non-response. Twenty-nine percent (N = 117,783) of eligible All of Us participants submitted SDOH survey data for these analyses. Most scales had less than 5% incalculable scores due to item non-response. Patterns of item non-response were seen by racial identity, educational attainment, income level, survey language, and age. Internal consistency reliability was greater than 0.80 for almost all scales and most demographic groups. The SDOH survey demonstrated good to excellent reliability across several measures and within multiple populations underrepresented in biomedical research. Bias due to survey non-response and item non-response will be monitored and addressed as the survey is fielded more completely.

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Humans; Social Determinants of Health; Reproducibility of Results; Population Health; Surveys and Questionnaires; Health Surveys

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