Social Determinants of Health – Social&Family Issues Example

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

"Social Determinants of Health" is a wonderful example of a paper on social and family issues. Family health assessment is an important process that helps provide information on the family structure, family health choices, strengths and weaknesses in approaching health care issues, and any necessary changes to the state of the family health. Taking time to study a family is beneficial to the members and the caregivers, as the information that is found helps, the healthcare providers make sound decisions based on accurate data. The members get the opportunity to participate in their care (People, 2020).

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the social determinants of health in the study family, understand the current health status and how the SDOH have contributed to it, and finally, find an appropriate model for health promotion in the family while putting each member into consideration (CDC, 2017). Social Determinants of Health The social determinants of health that affect the family health status currently are unstable housing, economic instability(Income and social status), substandard education, Health and Health Care, neighborhood and built environment, and Social and Community Context.

Understanding the different SDOH helps us see how we live, work, or play, which may affect our health status (CDC, 2016). The family indicates some economic instability in that the sole provider is the husband (Joe), who depends on full-time employment. His remuneration is just enough to make do under the circumstances; the family has to skip what they can't afford as they await better days when the wife Tina can look for employment once baby Troy turns three years. Even in employment, Tina would only look for casual employment as her education level does not allow her to go any higher; she couldn't get her college degree due to the poverty level.

She, however, still harbors hopes of getting it someday. Unstable housing is yet another SDOH in Joe's family in that they live in a rented apartment in the suburbs where the neighborhood they live in is predetermined by the amount of money they can spare for house rent. You find that they live with other African American families in closely packed apartments with little room for parks or playgrounds.

The traffic in this area, being a business and residential area, drives the traffic up, and the rate of pollution is high. The people in the neighborhood are not bothered about health issues as they have more pressing issues (Penman-Aguilar, 2016). A family-like Joe's, which makes a single annual visit to the doctor, is doing well here; there's also very little community health awareness activities here: People are so busy juggling between several jobs and family. Thus, the social and community context of Joe's family does not support health sensitization per se.

Understanding all the surrounding SDOH for this family can help a care provider understand their health behaviors and choices and find the appropriate care and health education programs; using the information gathered to spot the health gaps and lifestyle issues is crucial for the family (People, 2020)Age Appropriate Screening for Each Family MemberThe family consists of the husband (30-49yrs), wife (39-49yrs) teenage son (17), teenage niece (15), 9-yr old daughter, and a 2yr old son. The study of the family structure can help prepare the appropriate screening for each family member towards better health awareness and general choices (Green, 2018).

Joe and his wife Tina who are within the same age bracket are to be screened for obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breast cancer (Tina only), cervical cancer (Tina only), colon cancer, prostate cancer (Joe only), HIV, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B & C, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea (CDC, 2016). In addition to these screening tests, they need to be sensitized on health awareness, especially due to the rising risk with age. This calls for a healthier lifestyle, mostly managed through diet and exercise. The teenagers can be screened for body and mind wellness where general body care like hygiene, exercise, body changes, body piercings, rest periods, checking of stress levels (observation of any unexpected tendencies) and general mental state is checked, and screening for any substance use (Sokol, 2019).

While not many lab tests are involved for teenagers, checks for weight, high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, HIV, and hepatitis are checked. They are sensitized on developing healthy habits to maintain the right BMI, prevent injury, sexual health awareness, and avoiding substance abuse, which can be high due to peer influence(CDC, 2016). Tiana(9-year-old daughter) and baby Troy(2 years) are to be screened for obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lead poisoning, tuberculosis, and iron deficiency anemia (Sokol, 2019).

This group majors on the risk exposure for little children between 2-9yrs old with the rate decreasing as they grow older. For instance, Tina's risk of lead poisoning is lower than Troy's, as established by consistent annual screening (CDC, 2019). Functional Health PatternsThrough functional health patterns, one can get information on the current state of health of a family, the health history of individual members, and the family as a unit and eventually find ways of adapting the members to a more capable level of responding to the stressors in their current environment.

By so doing, they are empowered to find ways to maintain a state of good health despite the unfavorable conditions around them. The Stages-of-Change Model/Transtheoretical Model developed by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1983 is based on the continuity of the steps taken by people towards change. The sequence of this model is pre-contemplation - contemplation – preparation – action.

It takes place on a graduating level where the person moves from lack of awareness or disinterest to knowledgeable stage and the willingness to change. This level has to do with knowledge acquisition and change of attitude. In healthcare, you may find that a family is not interested or even aware of particular steps and responsibilities that they ought to take towards better health. When they are enlightened, for example, about the importance of regular physical exercise, they develop an interest, plan for it and eventually begin the sessions, which is the action stage.

This model can work well for Joe and Tina's family with support from a caregiver who would encourage them on necessary changes towards a healthier lifestyle. This would entail a healthier diet (avoid eating junk food on family outings too), more physical exercise for the whole family, and for the right purpose; Tina only does it for a good shape after the effects of baby Troy. She should be sensitized to adapting physical exercise as a health routine every day.

They can also be sensitized on leading a healthy lifestyle irrespective of the neighborhood Family-centered Health PromotionThrough family health education and follow-up program, the family can be taken through the stages of behavioral change to adapt and sustain a healthy lifestyle. Doing this as a family, and using the family systems theory where one member can influence the other towards better health choices, can be of great advantage (Penman-Aguilar, 2016). When Joe and Tina learn the importance of taking responsibility for their family health, they can go through the stages of change positively and eventually influence their children to follow.

Healthy family meals, exercise sessions took together where possible and individually where not will uplift the standard of healthy living within the entire family, and the change can be evaluated periodically. ConclusionUnderstanding the social determinants of health is an important step in bringing improvements to the health care plans of patients and their families. We are able to apply what we know to manipulate actions and processes that will bring the desired health outcomes (Green, 2018).

With the goals of Healthy People being a guide as to why we ought to apply SDOH to bring improvement in the health of our families and the entire population, we ought to pull together our EBP skills in ensuring that we bring the change we desire to family health and find ways of sustaining it for a healthy generation (People, 2020)


CDC, (2017) Health Equity. Regular Check-Ups are Important. Retrieved from

CDC, (2019) CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. Retrieved from

CDC, (2016) Social Determinants of Health: Know What Affects Health. CDC Programs Addressing Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved from

Green, S. (2018). Health Promotion: Health & Wellness across the Continuum. Retrieved from

Penman-Aguilar, A., Talih, M., Huang, D., Moonesinghe, R., Bouye, K., & Beckles, G. (2016). Measurement of health disparities, health inequities, and social determinants of health to support the advancement of health equity. Journal of public health management and practice: JPHMP, 22(Suppl 1), S33

People, H. (2020). Healthy people 2020 objectives. US Department of Health and Human Services.

Sokol, R., Austin, A., Chandler, C., Byrum, E., Bousquette, J., Lancaster, C. & Brevard, K. (2019).Screening children for social determinants of health: a systematic review. Pediatrics, 144(4), e20191622.

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us