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Social Determinants of Health as Predictors of Health Status: Model Creation and Utilization in R

Gianna Cohen
Gianna Cohen
Faculty Advisor(s)

As human comprehension of healthcare has advanced, a recent emphasis on wider societal influences, referred to as social determinants of health (SDoH), has instigated a transformative shift in both the realms of medicine and public health. SDoH are non-medical factors which can impact health. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released guidelines requiring healthcare providers to screen for and report SDoH data among all patients. This data has the potential to help us predict potential health outcomes/status, and help improve patient health through interventions. This project seeks to create a model which can predict flu diagnosis, coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnosis, and breast cancer screening (BCS) behaviors based on SDoH data using a predictive model in R Programming language. The data used in this model, provided by Atrium Health & Wake Forest Center for Biomedical Informatics, is deidentified patient data from 2021 to 2023. The resulting model was utilized to predict flu diagnosis, CAD diagnosis, and BCS in relation to parameters within SDoH.


Gianna Cohen is a senior graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and minors in Public Health and History. During her time as Salem, Gianna has held leadership positions with the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society chapter, the Pierrette Players, and has twice served as Fall Fest chair for her class. She has a passion for understanding and addressing health concerns from a multidisciplinary perspective utilizing her skills in statistical analysis and critical thinking.