"This project provides an excellent guide to the fourteen Determinants as recognised by the World Health Organisation..."
Canada has some similarities in demographics and health backgrounds to Australia. Canada has developed a solid set of resources for communicating and understanding the Social Determinants of Health approach with emphasis on the applications of the principles to everyday people.
This project provides an excellent guide to the fourteen Determinants as recognised by the World Health Organisation.
The Challenge In Understanding Health
As described in the video below, the challenge of getting both policymakers and the health community to think in terms of social determinants is considerable.
"Canadians, like others around the world, have been led to believe that if you exercise, quit smoking, drink in moderation and avoid getting overweight, that you'll live a long and healthy life", says Professor Raphael.
"Unfortunately, that simply isn't the case. We've known for over 150 years that the primary factor shaping people's health is their living conditions".
This applies in Australia where we primarily have a system that focuses on end products of health and illness rather than managing the social contexts that add up to making people healthy or otherwise.
Benefits For Practitioners From This Resource
The major benefit of this resource is that it provides an accessible guide to understanding what the Social Determinants is and how it impacts on the outcomes of people in the population.
It is also useful because it outlines each of the fourteen Determinants and provides implications for policymakers about each one.
This serves to move thinking beyond health as the presence of illness or disease, but starts to consider the interaction between social gradients, policy initiatives and the effects on health downstream by policy decisions.
Source: Brunner, E., & Marmot, M. G. (2006). ‘Social Organization, Stress, and Health.’ In M. G. Marmot &
R. G. Wilkinson (Eds.), Social Determinants of Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- The Canadian Facts - Interview With Professor Dennis Raphael (Youtube video 3.58 minutes)
- Report From The Canadian Facts Project -4.31 MB
The primary factors that shape the health of Canadians are not medical treatments or lifestyle choices but rather the living conditions they experience.