WHO guidelines on Social Determinants of Health

The major factors involved in SDOH

In the study on SDOH, World Health Organisation stated that there is a necessity for properly addressing SDOH factors in the health care system.

According to the latest survey, SDOH accounts for 80% of health outcomes, and medical factors only determine 10%. More and more health providers are now looking for ways to help their patients improve their lifestyle and behavior to better health outcomes.

Including SDOH data is therefore an important social determinant of health screening tool which includes telehealth, RPM, and many such platforms. SDOH screening tools aim to get detailed information about a patient’s health and living condition and other social factors to provide better care.

It is necessary to understand what exactly is the social determinants of health in order to address them better.

What are social determinants of health?

According to WHO  statements, SDOH is the non-medical factor that plays a direct role in deciding a person’s overall health, ultimately impacting the health outcome. The Social determinants of health are the conditions in which you were born, live, grow, work, and the other environmental determinants and social gradients. 

These conditions make up the quality of life; the better the quality of life, the better is the health outcome. 

In a population, different people have different living conditions. The difference in SDOH level in a population has created a bridge between the health conditions among the population.

List of Social Determinants of Health

Lifestyle, behavior along with economic determinants, environmental determinants, and social gradient form the SDOH. 

WHO provided a list of factors that influence a person’s health and are counted as the social determinants of health. These are:

  • Lifestyle 
  • Behavior 
  • Education 
  • Income and Employment 
  • Social life 
  • Neighborhood 
  • Family and Friends 
  • Availability and accessibility of resources 
  • Accessibility to healthcare 

These are the major SDOH factors that impact a person’s overall health condition.

WHO guidelines on improving SDOH

In March 2005, WHO established the Global Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH). CSDH focuses on improving the SDOH condition of the population. A report was submitted by the CSDH citing the three areas they need critical action. 

  1. Improve daily living conditions
  2. Tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money, and resources
  3. Measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action

Equipo Health understands the importance of SDOH and is continuously working on implementing tools and services that will improve the social determinants of health at the patient level and provide them better care. 

It is worth noting that access to better health care is also a major SDOH factor. Therefore, to improve the overall health outcome of the population, providing better care is also needed along with improving the social determinants of health.