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The Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health are as crucial to the well-being of the population as is direct medical care. Gender inequality, educational attainment, family well-being, and career opportunities are indirect factors that affect human health. Social determinants are a promising vector of scientific research, as they are a fundamental part of a holistic health system. Therefore, identifying the contact points between these factors and well-being will help providers select the most beneficial care model based on economic and human resources.

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The study of social determinants of health allows one to analyze the indirect impact of people’s environment on their physical and psychological well-being. First of all, the authors of “The Social Determinants of Health: Coming of Age” note an increased scientific interest in social factors and their direct influence (Braveman et al., 2011). The resource provides the following conclusions:

  1. Research around the world is contributing to a standard practical methodology for linking social and biopsychological factors into a coherent care delivery system;
  2. Further study should explore specific methods of influencing for their successful integration into updated health models;
  3. Economic, educational, and racial determinants are understudied, although they are fundamental in society;
  4. Complex causal relationships are the primary limitation of any research;
  5. Linking biology and psychology is essential to create a unified research system;
  6. Achieving a multidimensional study should be coordinated by scientists from various countries and fields of science;
  7. Political will is considered a significant obstacle to quality research.

Achieving scientific integrity in social determinants is complicated by a lack of coordination in initiation and data consistency. Therefore, an essential priority for future research is creating a global coordinating body that will document evidence-based information into a single system. This approach will regulate study groups’ actions and identify information gaps in time (Palmer et al., 2019). Thus, social determinants are a complex system of influences in which causal relationships play a role in updating the health delivery methodology.

Social determinants are receiving more and more scientific attention, but the lack of necessary coordination slows down the process of integrating knowledge into practice. The scientific community needs a well-coordinated mechanism for monitoring existing information, conducting the necessary research, and initiating further directions accordingly. Therefore, the research benchmark is creating a multidimensional system of intervention to accelerate and improve the quality of data on health determinants.

References

Braveman, P., Egerter, S., & Williams, D. R. (2011). The social determinants of health: Coming of age. Annual Review of Public Health, 32(1), 381-398. Web.

Palmer, R. C., Ismond, D., Rodriquez, E. J., & Kaufman, J. S. (2019). Social determinants of health: Future directions for health disparities research. American Journal of Public Health, 109(S1), S70-S71. Web.

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