Social and Community Context as Social Determinants of Health

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Health outcomes are influenced in myriad ways by an individual’s social environment and their community. For example, community is linked to such outcomes as body mass index, homicide rates, and suicidal behavior (Diez Roux & Mair, 2010; Bharmal et al., 2015; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.). Due to these strong influences on health outcomes, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services Healthy People 2030 campaign identifies social and community context as a domain of the social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are external conditions which exist with the potential to affect a patient’s current and future health, often beyond a patient’s direct control. Of particular importance, however, is how this domain fits into the larger picture of the social determinants of health. The elements in the social and community context have been shown to help negate potentially negative consequences of the other social determinants of health (Bharmal et al., 2015).

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Course Description

Health outcomes are influenced in myriad ways by an individual’s social environment and their community. For example, community is linked to such outcomes as body mass index, homicide rates, and suicidal behavior (Diez Roux & Mair, 2010; Bharmal et al., 2015; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.). Due to these strong influences on health outcomes, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services Healthy People 2030 campaign identifies social and community context as a domain of the social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are external conditions which exist with the potential to affect a patient’s current and future health, often beyond a patient’s direct control. Of particular importance, however, is how this domain fits into the larger picture of the social determinants of health. The elements in the social and community context have been shown to help negate potentially negative consequences of the other social determinants of health (Bharmal et al., 2015).

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