Stephanie A. Robert and Bridget C. Booske (Univ. Wisconsin - Madison) have a new article out in the American Journal of Public Health entitled US Opinions on Health Determinants and Social Policy as Health Policy. Here is the Abstract:
To examine what factors the public thinks are important determinants of health and whether social policy is viewed as health policy, we conducted a national telephone survey of 2791 US adults from November 2008 through February 2009. Respondents said that health behaviors and access to health care have very strong effects on health; they were less likely to report a very strong role for other social and economic factors. Respondents who recognized a stronger role for social determinants of health and who saw social policy as health policy were more likely to be older, women, non-White, and liberal, and to have less education, lower income, and fair/poor health. Increasing public knowledge about social determinants of health and mobilizing less advantaged groups may be useful in addressing broad determinants of health.
The American tendency to conflate health with health care is a major obstacle to appreciation of the importance of the SDOH. This article adds to the literature demonstrating that this conflation is in fact real and common. The article is recommended.