Opinion: Why do people turn down social risk assistance offered by their doctors’ offices?

After decades of research documenting the profound effects of social factors on health, such as income, education, employment, food security, and neighborhood, the health care sector has finally begun grappling with these so-called social drivers of health.

The health care system’s response has included efforts to identify patients and families experiencing social risk factors. But to the surprise of some, a significant number of people decline the assistance offered by their health care teams.

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