Document Type


Publication Date



This article is the author’s final published version in Pulmonary Circulation, Volume12, Issue 3, July 2022.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Authors.

Publication made possible in part by support from the Jefferson Open Access Fund


Social determinants of health (SDoH) can impact the vulnerable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) population, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers' understanding of SDoH at the point of care and their impact is unknown. We conducted semi-structured virtual interviews with US clinicians at 17 pulmonary hypertension (PH) centers and one patient advocate from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. We sought participants' perspective on SDoH in PAH and their impact. Transcripts were developed and analyzed for key themes to assess potential policy implications. Participants served a large PAH population and demonstrated high awareness of SDoH and its impact on treatment and outcomes. They reported that patients' SDoH, including socioeconomic status, health insurance, access to health care, education levels, health literacy, employment status, and insecurities associated with housing, food, transportation, and family support, impacted health and well-being. COVID-19-related social isolation, mental health, and substance abuse contributed to significant inequities in care provision and outcomes. While telemedicine helped clinicians manage patients remotely during the pandemic, there was a concern for patients with limited access to this medium. Participants reported no formal screening for SDoH at the point of care. With the recognition and the desire to act upon health inequities associated with SDoH, participants felt that it was vital for their centers to have a dedicated PH social worker and support staff to optimize care and outcomes. An approach that integrates SDoH in PAH care management, streamlined through institutional policy, could address health disparities leading to improved healthcare access, outcomes, and quality of care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.