Case Study on Social Determinants

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Case Study on Social Determinants

Characteristics of Individuals in the Case Study

The important characters in the case study are Carla aunt, Carla, the husband, the two children, the boyfriend and the community members. These individuals face challenges in accessing basic needs and sustaining stable social life. The individuals have poor educational backgrounds, skewed perception towards health care, and lack of employment opportunities. The individuals’ live in a coastal mining town and most of the economic activities rely on the mining activities and the closure of the mines increased unemployment and affected social life of the individuals. Therefore, the economic situations force the individuals in the community to experience poor social life because the individuals cannot access and afford basic needs and necessities. The economic problems also affect the housing structures and household income including the wider expectations of the society.

The issue of poor healthcare is evident in that Carla became pregnant and was married when she was still young. It means that Carla was unaware of reproduction education, and the husband also suffers after the accident because of lack of awareness. The accident affected the mental health of the husband making the husband to become forgetful resulting in depression. Carla’s children did not go further in education because of lack of resources; the daughter is pregnant and lives in a single room. The boyfriend and the daughter are facing challenges to meet day to day expenses. The community also faces challenges because they engage into shifts in taking care of the kids. Generally, the community is facing numerous challenges.

Types of Social Determinants of Health Care and Its Impact on Wellbeing and Health of the Individuals

The social determinants evident in the case study are health care system, food, education, neighborhood and physical environment and economic stability. These social determinants affect the health of the individuals differently. For example, the health care coverage is limited because the community is not informed on effective health practices and provision of health care coverage. For example, the husband should have visited a health institution to receive medical assistance; however, the poor health care systems may have contributed to the decision not visit the healthcare facility. The same issue is evident in the poor reproductive education where the parents do not plan for the pregnancies such as Carla became pregnant at a young age while the daughter is already pregnant without resources to support the pregnancy.

Marmot et al. (2012) state that economic stability is a major issue because of unemployment and meeting different expenses including medical bills. After the closure of the mine, many people moved to other localities seeking for employment opportunities. Apart from the housing issue, Garg, Jack, and Zuckerman (2013) present that sometimes the individuals are unable to access healthy portions of food. Furthermore, the individuals in the case study have poor educational backgrounds because the person who has learned the most based on the information is Carla son’s Grade 12 certification.

These social determinants affect the overall health outcomes. It affects the life expectancy in the case of the husband who has mental health care problems since he did not visit health institution because of fear of losing his employment opportunity. The family members are unable to meet health care expenditures such as visiting the hospital for the mental health treatment and medication to address diabetes. Jackson and Gracia (2014) argues functional limitation is another issue because it limits the capacity of the individuals to engage and perform effectively. Due to poor literacy and unemployment, the individuals are unable to live comfortable and also unable to continue pursuing developmental activities such as learning. For instance, the boyfriend may stop schooling so that he provides for the pregnant girlfriend, which indicates the chain of poor education.

Education Improves the Overall Health Care and Community Development

The right to education is crucial and the community should be provided with a universal education that does not support any form of discrimination and exclusion. More education means that the community and individuals access better jobs and become more affluent, which translates to greater control of individual’s life. Accessing education translates to more choices in careers, housing, health and other quality of lives opportunities. The education should include creating awareness and improving knowledge in different facets of learning and general development.

The government and other stakeholders should support frameworks and structures to improve educational requirements. For example, non-governmental organizations and the government can partner in providing education. Garg et al. (2015) propose that the education should range from income generating activities to managing individual life. For instance, financial literacy and health awareness can alleviate problems of misuse of funds, effective budgeting for funds, and ensure access or understand the fundamentals of health. In the current scenario, Carla’s family faces health related problems, which may be traced to the poor educational framework.

Access to education is an upstream strategy aspect because the community and individuals are informed of the best practices and how these practices can improve their personal and community lives. Braveman and Gottlieb (2014) observes the strategies can easily work because the community understands the ways to create employment opportunities and how to access health care. The case of Carla is evident in the importance of education and awareness because Carla would have supported the children to learn, assisted the husband in seeking health care assistance and also to integrate reproductive education into the community settings. Carla daughter should have waited until when she is stable and can care for the child throughout the lifecycle e.g. prenatal and postnatal care.

Roles of Health professionals in Advancing Education

The health care professionals can engage with the community and individuals on the importance of maintaining effective health and visiting the health institutions. For example, Viner et al. (2012) present the health professionals can indicate the problems of poor hygiene and develop strategies that can be employed in championing healthiness. The same case applies to reproductive health such as the available contraceptives and the consequences of engaging in unprotected sex or sex with many partners. The education and discussions on an individual and community health can take place in different areas. For example, Jackson and Gracia (2014) advises that organizing visits to the community and partnering with other stakeholders in distributing condoms and other contraceptives can address the reproductive issues while indicating the importance of hygiene can address contamination of the environment and ensuring the environment is clean through disposing wastes appropriate, draining stagnant water, and implementing other measures targeting cleanliness. Thus, the health care professionals should educate and inform the community and individuals on the best practices towards healthy living.


Braveman, P. and Gottlieb, L., 2014. The social determinants of health: it’s time to consider the causes of the causes. Public Health Reports, vol. 129, no. Sup. 12, pp. 19-31.

Garg, A., Jack, B. and Zuckerman, B., 2013. Addressing the social determinants of health within the patient-centered medical home: lessons from pediatrics. JAMA, vol. 309, no. 19, pp. 2001-2002.

Garg, A., Toy, S., Tripodis, Y., Silverstein, M. and Freeman, E., 2015. Addressing social determinants of health at well child care visits: a cluster RCT. Pediatrics, vol. 135, no. 2, pp. e296-e304.

Jackson, C.S. and Gracia, J.N., 2014. Addressing health and health-care disparities: the role of a diverse workforce and the social determinants of health. Public Health Reports, vol. 129, no. Sup l2, pp. 57-61.

Marmot, M., Allen, J., Bell, R., Bloomer, E. and Goldblatt, P., 2012. WHO European review of social determinants of health and the health divide. The Lancet, vol. 380, no. 9846, pp. 1011-1029.

Viner, R.M., Ozer, E.M., Denny, S., Marmot, M., Resnick, M., Fatusi, A. and Currie, C., 2012. Adolescence and the social determinants of health. The Lancet, vol. 379, no. 9826, pp. 1641-1652.