Social Determinants Of Health Impact People Around The World Every Day

1320 Words Oct 26th, 2016 6 Pages
Social determinants of health impact people around the world every day. It is important for health professionals to understand how social determinants of health affects the people they come into contact with, whether it is in a hospital or in the community. The World Health Organization (2009) defines social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life”. This puts forward the idea that personal characteristics, standard of living and the background in which a person is born and raised into affects their everyday life.
Dahlgren & Whitehead (1991) discussed the layers of influence on health through the Social Model of Health Diagram. The diagram shows the link between the person, the location in which they live in and their illness. At the centre of the diagram is the individual with their fixed genes such as age and sex, these are the individual’s personal characteristics. The individual is influenced by everyday life factors and their decisions, which they have more control over and can be changed or adapted over time. The outer layer of the diagram is structural factors such as unemployment, water and sanitation which are harder to overcome (Naidoo, J. and Wills, J., 2010). The diagram is a simple way of showing how social determinants of health has an effect on people’s lives and the connections associated with their illness.
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