Social Determinants

Describe what is meant by the term `social determinants of health’. Discuss the evidence of how work has an impact on health. Outline the implications for nursing practice. Introduction The aim of this assignment is to discuss the evidence of the impacts that work can have on an individual’s health. Health has been defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organisation – WHO, 1946). Therefore, health is viewed as a much broader concept in that it includes social wellbeing.

It has long been recognised that social determinants can influence health. There are many social determinants of health, for example food, stress, early life, transport, social gradient, unemployment, social support, addiction and social exclusion. However, the intention of this assignment is to discuss the evidence of the impact of work, as a social determinant, on health. Secondly, this assignment will explore the work of Babbage, Taylorism and Fordism in relation to the influence on the development of work.

The discussion will also include how work within the UK has changed over the last 20 to the 30 years and a description and evidence of the effects of paid and unpaid work as well as the boundaries between the two will also be illustrated. Lastly, the implications of work as a social determinant of health for nursing practice will be outlined. Main body Social Determinants of Health Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions under which individual’s live which can determine their health.

WHO (1946) have identified ten different social determinants (stated in the introduction) of health that can all have an effect on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. The identification and research of social determinants of health have helped extend awareness and encourage action from healthcare workers and advocates. According to Drever and Whitehead (1997) in studies of social inequalities of health, the most frequently used indirect indicators of social and economic conditions are an individual’s occupation, education or income and how these factors influence their lifestyle and wellbeing.

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