What are the Social Determinants of Health?

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Conditions (e.g. social, economic, and physical) in these various environments and settings (e.g. school, church, workplace, and neighbourhood) have been referred to as “place.”


In addition to the more material attributes of “place,” the patterns of social engagement and sense of security and well-being are also affected by where people live. Resources that enhance quality of life can have a significant influence on population health outcomes. Examples of these resources include safe and affordable housing, access to education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, local emergency/health services, and environments free of life-threatening toxins.
 
Understanding the relationship between how population groups experience “place” and the impact of “place” on health is fundamental to the social determinants of health—including both social and physical determinants.
 
“At every stage of life, health is determined by complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and individual behavior. These factors are referred to as ‘determinants of health’. They do not exist in isolation from each other. It is the combined influence of the determinants of health that determines health status.”  -Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)

  • Income and Income Distribution
  • Education

  • Unemployment and Job Security

  • Employment and Working Conditions

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Food Insecurity

  • Housing

  • Social Exclusion

  • Social Safety Network

  • Health Services

  • Aboriginal Status

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Disability

  • Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA

The following is a list of fourteen social determinants of health as defined by the Canadian Health Association:

What are the Social Determinants of Health?

Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Conditions (e.g. social, economic, and physical) in these various environments and settings (e.g. school, church, workplace, and neighbourhood) have been referred to as “place.”


In addition to the more material attributes of “place,” the patterns of social engagement and sense of security and well-being are also affected by where people live. Resources that enhance quality of life can have a significant influence on population health outcomes. Examples of these resources include safe and affordable housing, access to education, public safety, availability of healthy foods, local emergency/health services, and environments free of life-threatening toxins.
 
Understanding the relationship between how population groups experience “place” and the impact of “place” on health is fundamental to the social determinants of health—including both social and physical determinants.
 
“At every stage of life, health is determined by complex interactions between social and economic factors, the physical environment and individual behavior. These factors are referred to as ‘determinants of health’. They do not exist in isolation from each other. It is the combined influence of the determinants of health that determines health status.”  -Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)

  • Income and Income Distribution
  • Education

  • Unemployment and Job Security

  • Employment and Working Conditions

  • Early Childhood Development

  • Food Insecurity

  • Housing

  • Social Exclusion

  • Social Safety Network

  • Health Services

  • Aboriginal Status

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Disability

  • Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA

The following is a list of fourteen social determinants of health as defined by the Canadian Health Association:

CVRD

My Cowichan Valley Now

​Why is addressing the role of social determinants of health important?

Addressing social determinants of health is a primary approach to achieving health equity. Health equity is "when everyone has the opportunity to 'attain their full health potential' and no one is 'disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstance'" [5]. Health equity has also been defined as "the absence of systematic disparities in health between and within social groups that have different levels of underlying social advantages or disadvantages—that is, different positions in a social hierarchy" [6]. Social determinants of health such as poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma, and racism are underlying, contributing factors of health inequities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to achieving improvements in people's lives by reducing health inequities. Health organizations, institutions, and education programs are encouraged to look beyond behavioral factors and address underlying factors related to social determinants of health.
 

  • How a person develops during the first few years of life (early childhood development)

  • How much education a persons obtains

  • Being able to get and keep a job

  • What kind of work a person does

  • Having food or being able to get food (food security)

  • Having access to health services and the quality of those services

  • Housing status

  • How much money a person earns

  • Discrimination and social support

SPC

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Email: infospcowichan@gmail.com

Phone: 250-701-7053

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