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Better health: An analysis of public policy and programming focusing on the determinants of health and health outcomes that are effective in achieving the healthiest populations

This review of Canadian literature assesses the statistical links between health outcomes and four social determinants of health: income, food security, housing, and social exclusion. The authors found 109 studies that met their inclusion criteria, three-quarters of which showed that the incidence of poor health increased as the value of the determinant decreased (negative association).  The review is one of three studies commissioned for the Canadian Nurses Association’s National Expert Commission. 
 

The authors conclude that this evidence presents new opportunities for the nursing profession to expand its role to include advocacy, policy analysis, and political action. The recommendations include policy changes such as increasing minimum wage to a “living wage,” and political action such as supporting campaigns, social movements, and political parties that advocate for progressive taxation.

The appendix includes a table profiling each study by its objectives, design, conceptual definition, groups compared, and findings.
 

Use this resource to
 

  • Become familiar with the Canadian empirical literature on the social determinants of health
  • Consider policy changes and advocacy aimed at reducing health inequalities by improving income, food security, housing, and social inclusion
  • Learn about the work of the Canadian Nurses Association in addressing social inequalities linked with poor health outcomes
     

Muntaner, C., Ng, E., & Chung, H. (2012). Better health: An analysis of public policy and programming focusing on the determinants of health and health outcomes that are effective in achieving the healthiest populations. Retrieved from Canadian Health Services Research Foundation website: http://www.chsrf.ca/publicationsandresources/ResearchReports/ArticleView/12-06-18/dced281f-7884-4d36-8b0f-a797aa7eec41.aspx
 

Tags: Food security, Income inequality, Intersectoral action, Socioeconomic status , Document

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