Faculty Advisor

Bobby Bellflower, DNSc, NNP-BC, FAANP

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-23-2024


Investigative Techniques | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing | Pediatric Nursing


Full Study Title: Food Insecurity Screening of Families in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Background: Early infancy food insecurity (FI) is linked to poor health later in life, and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) are often overlooked. Routine FI screening can help identify and assist the families suffering from FI seen in the NICU before being discharged home.

Purpose: The aim was to identify if families were assessed for FI by social workers or if they were more likely to report FI in a brief survey.

Method: A randomized chart review of social work notes for 30 NICU patients at Regional One Health from January 2023 to June 2023 was conducted to determine if FI was screened. A three-question-FI screening tool was placed in all patient charts from October 2023 to December 2023. The NICU nurses and researcher asked admitted families to complete the survey during visits. Inclusion criteria included parents greater than or equal to 18 years old and English-speaking.

Results: The chart review identified no explicit statements surrounding FI in the social work notes. The team anticipated 50 or more returned surveys throughout the study but received only 33 completed surveys. Thirty surveys were included in the study. Around 17% of families discussed receiving food assistance with social workers, whereas 39% reported FI via the survey.

Conclusion: Screening via a brief survey was successful but not cohesive to the Regional One Health NICU. A different distribution method may offer better results.