Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Document Type

Project Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



This study evaluated the impact of a social determinants of health (SDOH) screening and resource connection for adult mental health patients in the emergency department (ED) on identifying the SDOH needs of the ED mental health community, connecting patients with resources, and the outcomes of ED utilization and boarding.

A quasi-experimental, pretest - posttest design was employed. Participants were screened by emergency nurses to identify SDOH needs. Patients who identified a need were connected to resources. A two-week follow-up was offered to evaluate resource connections.

There were 36 patients who agreed to participate of 51(70.5%) who were screened. The most prevalent SDOH need identified was transportation (58.3%, n=21). More than one need was identified by 69.4% (n = 25). A SDOH resource intervention was received by 91.6% (n = 33) of participants. Participants were difficult to reach for follow-up. Receipt of SDOH services were reported by 66.6% (n= 8) of participants completing follow-up. Participants reported resources as very helpful (55.5%, n = 5) and 100% (n = 10) of participants completing follow-up endorsed continuation of the program. Emergency department visits and boarding hours were significantly lower in the 3-month post intervention for the participants who received a resource intervention.

Mental health patients have SDOH needs driving health outcomes and ED utilization. Addressing SDOH needs in the ED may lead to less ED utilization and boarding hours. The ED is a viable location for SDOH screening and resource interventions.