Social Determinants Of Health
Social Determinants Of Health
Social Determinants Of Health
What are social determinants of health? How do social determinants of health contribute to the development of illness? What is a communicable disease chain? Are there steps that a nurse can take to break a link within the communicable disease chain? Give a specific example.
Readings within your text covering international/global health and the following websites will assist you in answering these questions:
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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Health website: http://www.cdc.gov/cogh/index.htm
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Global Health website: http://www.globalhealth.gov/index.html
Families USA – Why Global Health Matters—Here and Abroad website: http://www.familiesusa.org/
World Health Organization (WHO) website: http://www.who.int
Social determinants of health are an individual’s personal circumstances that impact their health and well-being. They include political, socioeconomic, and cultural factors, alongside how easily someone can access healthcare, education, a safe place to live, and nutritious food.
The World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source
World Health Organization
- Highly respected international organization
defines social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”
Social determinants of health are an extensive range of factors that exist throughout all aspects of society. However, they are separate from medical care or a person’s individual lifestyle choices.
A study cited by the National Academy of Medicine found that medical care itself only accounted for 10–20% of the contributors to people’s health outcomes.
By contrast, the many social determinants of health play a much bigger role in influencing a person’s health, making up 80–90% of the contributing factors.
This article explores social determinants of health, including their forms and the roles they play in shaping healthcare outcomes.
Around 1 in 10 people in the United States are living without health insurance. This means they may not have a primary healthcare professional. They may also not have the money to make vital purchases for their health, such as medications or tests.
Additionally, people may liveTrusted Source too far away from a healthcare clinic to get the quality of care they deserve.
Black Americans are more likely to be uninsured than white Americans. In 2018, 9.7% of Black Americans did not have health insurance. Among white Americans, this rate was 5.4%.
Improving quality healthcare access
There are many ways to help improve public access to quality healthcare. For example, clinics could offer remote appointments where possible.
The Healthy People 2030Trusted Source campaign has several objectives in place to improve healthcare access. For example, it aims to:
- reduce the wait time in emergency departments
- increase the proportion of adults who receive lung cancer screenings
- increase community services that can provide health screenings
Economic stability is vitalTrusted Source to affording lifestyle choices and paying for quality medical care that keeps people healthy.
A well-paying, steady job is critical for food security and housing stability. Savings are essential for managing chronic conditions or emergencies.
However, 1 in 10 people in the U.S. live in poverty.
Those in steady work may not earn enough to gain access to good quality healthcare. Moreover, chronic conditions or disabilities may put people at an even greater disadvantage.
Many studies have shown wide gaps in health outcomes between countries and communities that have different social determinants of health. People living in high income countries have a life expectancy that is 19 yearsTrusted Source higher than that of people living in low income countries.
Improving economic stability
The Healthy People 2030Trusted Source campaign is organizing programs to increase funding for many institutions, including:
- employment programs
- career counseling
- high quality child care
Establishing certain policies can help people pay for their:
DataTrusted Source from the U.S. and Europe show a strong association between health indicators and an individual’s income and education level.
Whether a child or adolescent can access quality education throughout their development can determine their future living conditions.
Early childhood education is essentialTrusted Source for social and mental development, and good quality high school education can open new doors to further education and employment opportunities.
Children that come from low income households, have disabilities, or experience social discrimination at an early age may be less likely to do well in school. They also face barriers to higher levels of education.
As a result, people from low income households often struggle to get safe, well-paying jobs. It also means they are more likely to experience health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or depression.
The stress of having economic difficulties can also adversely impact a person’s health and well-being. For example, living in poverty can negatively affect a child’s brain development.
Improving access to education
The funding of Title I schools in the U.S. has encouraged continued education among those living in low income communities.
The Health People 2030Trusted Source campaign has several programs in place to improve the proportion of people who have access to high quality education across all age groups.
Interactions between individuals and their family members and co-workers can affectTrusted Source their health.
For example, workplace conditions and discrimination can have an impact on peoples’ moods and self-esteem.
Moreover, high incarceration rates, absent parents, and bullying can all affect a child’s development and feelings of loneliness. This negative effect on a child’s health can continue into their adulthood.
Learn about the effects of racism on mental health here.
Improving community environment
Many social determinants of health are factors that people cannot control individually. Fostering positive relationships at home, at work, or in a person’s community can improve public well-being.
Programs that can better people’s social determinants of health include the social campaigns on the implementation of smoke-free zones that curbed tobacco use and decreased smoking-related disease.
The Healthy People 2030Trusted Source campaign aims to help people get the social support and care they might need.
For example, it is working to reduce anxiety and depression by providing more support to children and those caring for people with disabilities, among other groups.