Social Determinants of Health

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Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health

Good health of an individual or family is partly determined by their social economic conditions. The Healthy People 2020 seeks to address the creation of physical and social environments that will lead to the promotion of good health. Social determinants of health therefore look to understand these socio-economic factors and how they affect individuals and families in accessing healthcare (Healthy People, 2020). There are five key social determinants of health and the paper will explore how these determinants affect the well-being of the Brown’s family and what can be recommended to help the family achieve better health outcomes.

The first social determinant of health is economic stability (Lovell and Bibby, 2018). As an upper-middle class family, Mr. and Mrs. Brown are employed and in good careers that have enabled them provide for housing and food for the family. The second determinant is education that investigates the level of education and literacy of an individual to determine the level of healthcare (Lovell and Bibby, 2018). All members of the Brown’s family are either in school or have gone through the formal education system.

The social and community context is a great determinant of how people view and access healthcare (Healthy People, 2020). Health and healthcare as a social determinant looks at the ease of access to health facilities and the health literacy of a person or community (Healthy People, 2020). These two determinants are likely to affect the Brown’s family. There have been reports of the African-American community in America being discriminated against in healthcare (Taylor, 2019). The health literacy in the family is wanting. This is evidenced by the fact that the family is not keen to understand the content and impact of the medication they receive and also that they are not keen to incorporate exercise in their daily routine as part of their health regimen.

The last social determinant is the neighborhood and environment access (Healthy People, 2020). Crime, environmental conditions and the support for healthy eating patterns in the neighbourhood play a role in health maintenance. The Brown’s live in an uptown neighbourhood having a chef to make healthy meals allows for healthy eating patterns.

Recommended Screenings

Health screening is recommended by health professionals as it aids to detect and monitor the onset of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Though most screening are done at every annual wellness check, there are some screenings that are age specific and are not needed every year.

17 years and below

This screenings are for Mike and Anne who are below eighteen years. They should generally have their annual wellness check-up where their weight, height, cholesterol check and blood pressure information is taken (Columbia NPG, 2020). Anne will receive the HPV vaccine since she is already an adolescent.

18 – 39 years

This screening bracket fits Ashley who is 22 years old. Ashley will need to have a cervical cancer screening exercise every three years in addition to her annual screening. A breast exam should be done annually and this is supplemented with monthly breast self-examinations at home. If a HPV vaccine was not previously administered as an adolescent, it should be done in this age bracket. Screening for sexually transmitted infections is necessary at this age bracket as it is the age where individuals become sexually active. Pap smears are also advisable every three years to check for pelvic cancer (Columbia NPG, 2020).

40 – 64 years

This screening bracket fits Mr. and Mrs. Brown who are in their early fifties. Colorectal, osteoporosis and lung cancer screenings should be done in additional to the normal annual screening (Columbia NPG, 2020). A colonoscopy may be required depending on the medical history. Flu shots should be done annually and shingles vaccines should be done in two doses, at intervals of two to six months. Mrs. Brown should have a mammogram annually or bi-annually and a pap smear where a pelvic exam is carried out every two years (Columbia NPG, 2020). Mr Brown should also get a prostrate exam annually. This is because at this age there are high chances of getting cancer and screening allows for early detection.

Recommended Health Model

For the family, the recommended health model is the socio-ecological model as it addresses behavior change for better health (Simpson, 2020). The family is able to access information and all they need is to change some of their health practices.

The model addresses behavior change at various levels in a way that relates the behavior of the individual of family to their environment.

The first level of influence in this model is the intrapersonal factors where the family will re-check their knowledge and beliefs of health as the root of creating change to their health patterns (Simpson, 2020). In certain areas, more research will be required to build on health knowledge. The second sphere of influence is the interpersonal processes where the family will understand how the behavior of each member impacts on their overall health (Simpson, 2020). In this way, the family can borrow from Mike’s ability to exercise as a learning curve for the family.

Organizational and community factors are other levels of influence that a family can change to adapt a better lifestyle (Simpson, 2020). The careers of the Mr. and Mrs. Brown may demand a lot of their time which may affect their health. They could try and join the sports club community frequently to exercise and relax in their community so as to improve their health status.

Social health determinants are crucial to the assessment of the health of any family. Understanding the unique determinants in each family allows health workers to prescribe a specific model and strategies that are custom made to the situation of each family.




2020, H. P. (2020). Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved August 5, 2020, from Healthy People:

Bibby, N. L. (2018). What Makes us Healthy: An Introduction to the Social Determinants of Health. London: Health Foundation.

Finkelstein, E. M. (2014). Finding the Role of Health Care in Population Health. Journal of teh American Medical Association. 311(8), 797-798.

Group, C. N. (2020, January 7). Complete Guide to Annual Health Screenings by Age. Retrieved August 5, 2020, from Columbia Nurses Practitioner Group:

Simpson, V. (2015). Models and Theories to Support Health Behavior Intervention and Program Planning. Purdue Extension: Health and Human Science, 1-5.

Taylor, J. (2019). Racism, Inequality, and Health Care for African Americans. New York: The Century Foundation.