Three challenges for the social determinants of health pursuit

David V. McQueen International Journal of Public Health, 2009; Vol. 54, No. 1 Download publication

Editorial written in response to the final report of the WHO commission on the social determinants of health (2008).

The author highlights several issues emerging from attempts to use social determinants of health (SDOH) as a way of understanding the multiple causes of disease, arguing that:

  • the knowledge base for the SDOH is out of date
  • the measurement of what is social is problematic
  • the evidence for what works to change the social determinants is weak.

By arguing for the importance of addressing these issues, this editorial provides a useful reminder of the research agenda for the structural drivers of HIV.

 The WHO report, Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health is available to download here.

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