Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health

The World Health Organization ascribes the social domain of health as an important determinant of an individual’s well-being. The social determinants of health (SDOH) are economic and social factors that influence the health of an individual or a group of people (Schroeder et al., 2019). The distribution of social and economic conditions contributes to health disparities between rich and poor people.

While focusing on a specific family, this paper aims to provide insight into the SDOH, appropriate health-promoting activities, and a health model that lays out a concrete plan for carrying out the activities.

Description of the SDOH Affecting John’s Family

The SDOH has an impact on John’s family, just like it does on any other family. SDOH components affecting the family include economic stability, healthcare and quality, social and community context, education, neighborhood, and the environment. John is a structural engineer, and her wife is an accountant at a five-star restaurant nearby.

When they pool their resources, they are capable of providing basic needs such as food, clothing, housing, health, and education to their children. In terms of literacy, John and his wife have completed tertiary education. Their perception of health is positive, as evidenced by Anne having a cervical cancer screening and John taking his antihypertensive medications and monitoring his blood pressures daily.

The neighborhood and environment in which they live are urban. The city has a consistent supply of safe drinking water and electricity, residents rarely suffer from illnesses caused by contaminated water. The only issue may be the continuous air pollution caused by gases emitted by motor vehicles and the numerous factories in the area.

In the long run, the emitted gases may endanger the family of respiratory illnesses. In terms of healthcare and quality, the city is brimming with health facilities offering diverse services, as Anne discovers when she walks into a cervical cancer screening clinic.

Furthermore, the surrounding community is supportive, with numerous health-promoting facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, and football fields. However, as evidenced by their sedentary lifestyle, John’s family does not routinely use the resources that put them at risk of diseases like hypertension, which John has, and obesity, which his wife has.

Age-Appropriate Screening for Each Family Member

            Health promotion encompasses a wide range of activities and interventions aimed at lowering disease risks. While primary health prevention and promotion strategies aim to prevent disease before it occurs, secondary strategies aim to reduce the impact of a disease that has already occurred, which is accomplished through early disease detection and treatment to halt progression.

Tertiary strategies, on the other hand, seek to reduce disease complications and long-term effects (Kisling & Das, 2022). Because it aims to detect and treat diseases in their early stages, screening is a component of secondary health prevention and promotion. John, who has hypertension, may benefit from screening for the other components of metabolic syndrome, including hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and obesity. Measurements of lipid levels, random blood glucose levels, and body mass index are used to screen for hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and obesity, respectively.

Anne would benefit similarly from screening for other components of the metabolic syndrome, such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, since her mother succumbed to cervical cancer, she had undergone a cervical cancer screening, which turned out negative. Obtaining Abi’s height and weight would be critical in calculating his body mass index, which determines whether he has a healthy weight or not.

Moreover, due to Abi’s family’s history of metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, random blood sugar levels, and lipid levels must all be obtained. Sophy and Amor will be subjected to the same screenings as Abi. Because they live in a densely populated city with a recent high Covid19 transmission risk, all family members require a Covid-19 screening.

Health Model to Create an Action Plan

            The health belief model is one of the earliest and most widely used models in matters of health prevention and promotion. The model focuses on an individual’s beliefs and how they impact their behaviors. The model encompasses six factors that impact an individual’s behavior.

The factors include (1) perceived susceptibility, in which a person is subjectively aware of the risk of his illness, (2) perceived severity, in which a person is fully aware and feels the severity of his/her illness, and (3) perceived benefits, in which an individual consciously perceives the effectiveness of a behavior change, (4) perceived barriers, which define the obstacles to the action plan, (5) a cue to action which is a stimulus that prompts a decision-making process and (6) self-efficacy, which is the level of confidence a person obtains following achievement of their health promotion goals (Green et al., 2020).

Concerning his family, John is aware that physical inactivity and alcohol consumption are risk factors for his illness-hypertension. He is also aware of the severity of his condition-hypertension-and has identified the barriers to achieving healthy blood pressure.

Steps for a Family-Centered Health Promotion

            The vast majority of family-friendly interventions are behavioral. First, the family must engage in sweat-inducing physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day, five times per week, for a total of 150 minutes per week, as per the American Heart Association’s recommendation.

Second, a dietary plan that meets the goals of John and Anne, as well as the children, is required. The DASH diet will benefit John, whereas Anne should avoid junk food and limit her calorie intake. Reducing risk behaviors like alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking is an important step in family-centered health promotion and contributes significantly to the reduction of cardiovascular disorders (Perumareddi, 2019).

Medication adherence and regular visits to a primary care physician by all family members are other effective prevention strategies. The family has health communication strategies in place, and the discussions take place during scheduled family time, usually at night, during meal times. Each member is allowed to contribute and express their opinion on the family’s health, as well as make suggestions on how to improve their health.


            Whether health prevention and promotion are superior to curative interventions is still contentious. Due to the high prevalence of preventable diseases, it is prudent to prevent their occurrence or halt their progression in their early stages. This heralds the concept of different levels of health prevention, such as primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Disease screening is a practice that aims to detect diseases at an early stage so that interventions can be implemented to prevent progression. This approach has significantly reduced morbidity from diseases such as cancer while also relieving patients of the financial burden that would have resulted from treating advanced disease.


Green, E. C., Murphy, E. M., & Gryboski, K. (2020). The health belief model. In The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology (pp. 211–214). Wiley.

Kisling, L. A., & Das, J. M. (2022). Prevention Strategies. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Perumareddi, P. (2019). Prevention of hypertension related to cardiovascular disease. Primary Care46(1), 27–39.

Schroeder, K., Garcia, B., Phillips, R. S., & Lipman, T. H. (2019). Addressing social determinants of health through community engagement: An undergraduate nursing course. The Journal of Nursing Education58(7), 423–426.