1.socio-demographic characteristics of the individuals in this case study.
The individuals in the given case study are SARAH and her family members including her two children named Annie and Robbie, her husband John and her old aunt who had raised her and her late parents.
SARAH is a 54 years old woman who had her birth in a small coastal mining town. After the death of her parents at a small age, her old aunt raised her, but she struggled at school because her aunt did not know about reading. She got married in her late teens and was a mother to two children by the age of 21years. Just post-birth of her second child, SARAH separated from John. Financially, she was supported by John, but post an accident, this financial help got eliminated. He became depressed and forgetful and SARAH used to care him during this distressed time. To meet the financial needs, she used to work in the grocery and retail positions and used to have shared childcare duties with the neighbours. But, as her children grew, employment became harder and she became financially tightened. Gradually, income became complex for her as the mine that was the key employment industry in her town closed and businesses turnout out. The social and financial life became restricted and troublesome. Thus, she started volunteering at the RPSCA for earning few bucks by cleaning the town hall and the post office (Adler et al., 2016).
Further, her life became lonelier as her children moved to the city. She became psychologically distressed as none of children studied well and her daughter Annie became pregnant with her boyfriend and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (Adler et al., 2016). Annie needed the support of her mother and this was again complex as SARAH could not afford the transportation costs. This created another complexity in her life where she started eating just a toast during the evening meal for saving money to visit her daughter. Still, she was not able to go often than monthly visits. Annie and her boyfriend are happy about the child, but worried at the same time on how to afford rent on baby’s arrival. This case presents that none of the individuals in this case study has been able to live a financially, and socially stable life (Taylor et al., 2016).
2. social determinants of health that are evident in the case study and explain their impact on the individuals in the case study.
The social determinants of health are the life conditions wherein the individual lives, grow, born and ages. The social determinants of health are defined as the factors that are responsible for impacting the health of the person on the basis of their lifestyle, workplace position, home environment, nurturing and the age related problems (Adler et al., 2016). In terms of this case study, the social determinants of health consist of multiple factors like education, physical environment, health services and income status impacting the health conditions of all the people mentioned in the case study (WHO, 2017).
Physical environment is the first determinant in the case study. This is an effective determinant if the working conditions are healthy, there is safe living, and better employment conditions (Australian Govt., 2013). This case study defines that working condition for SARAH's husband in the mining area was unsafe. SARAH and her children had lived in the small coastal mining town that is prone to consistent pollution and unhealthy conditions. Moreover, for income post the closure of all mines, SARAH started cleaning various places that again proved to be adversely affecting the health condition (WHO, 2017).
Income status is the second social determinant. Without stable income, healthcare services are not affordable and person restricts in seeking healthcare support. In the case study, SARAH's husband sustained a head injury at mine workplace, but did not report it or got treatment due to embarrassment and fear of losing job and income source (Taylor et al., 2016). Thus, he became forgetful and depressed later on. This made him financially unstable for whole life. Instead, SARAH had to support him for recovery. SARAH also did not have stable income source due to which she was not able to support her pregnant daughter as required (Australian Govt., 2013).
Education plays a significant role in a healthy and financially stable life. Due to lower educational levels of SARAH and her children, all of them lived their life in stressful conditions and deteriorated their health (Australian Govt., 2013). If Annie would have educated well, she would not have moved into one room apartment with boyfriend and becoming pregnant with gestational diabetes. If SARAH would have been educated, she would not worked for meagre income and eating less to save money (WHO, 2017).
social determinants identified and propose the best way(s) to address this issue in order to have an impact at a population level.
If the person wants to lead a healthy life, the issues associated with the social determinants must be fully resolved. The key social determinant in the case being most important is education impacting the life of the entire population (Adler, Glymour & Fielding, 2016). Education is the basic need for leading, financially, physically and mentally stable life. Literate people have good health literacy and understand the surroundings. Literate people are highly conscious about their health, and can achieve a stable income level for better healthcare access and can also have healthy living condition (Heiman, 2015). Education is defined as the single most imperative modifiable social determinant of health. The income and education have been the two big ones correlated most strongly with majority of health status measures and the life expectancy measures (Sharma, Pinto & Kumagai, 2018).
Certain strategies can be applied for addressing the wider social determinants. First, education must be provided to all on a mandatory basis. Education makes the person capable enough in making positive and effective choices on the basis of their knowledge and understanding (Adler et al., 2016). Education provides the ability to decide about healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices. Education makes person independent, financially capable, confident and acknowledgeable person knowing the difference between good and bad (Sharma et al., 2018). Secondly, the physical environment must be kept clean. With cleanliness, comes healthy environment. When the person is taught the importance of clean home and workplace environments, they will be able to reduce the unhealthy experiences (Heiman, 2015).
health professionals can work to address social determinants of health.
The healthcare professionals usually give care for patients by providing supportive care and assistant all throughout the healthcare phase. To address the social determinants of health, the health professionals play the crucial role. They provide multiple roles in this process (TPCMD, 2016). First, the healthcare professionals need to increase their knowledge about the environmental, social, cultural and physical factors that can impact the health of the public. This way the professionals can enhance their clinical training skills and can decide better about the treatment procedures (Artiga, Hinton & Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, 2019).
Secondly, the healthcare professionals need to learn about the patient’s social history. This should be done by asking open ended questions within a calm environment giving time and space to patient to respond (Artiga et al., 2019). Questions must focus on knowing about the patient’s experiences with drugs, tobacco, alcohol, hereditary health problems and lifestyle habits. This is necessary to make a mind map about the patient history to identify the health issues and their main causes for accurate diagnosis and treatment process (Heiman, 2015).
Third way of addressing the social determinants is the professional development. They need to continue their professional development and involve in research work to advance their learning. This is necessary to attain higher professional standards and experience (TPCMD, 2016).
Forth way of addressing the determinants is to have patient survey on half-yearly basis in all the community settings with the key involvement of community nurses. They can communicate and associate well with the communities and can find the factors that are impacting their health and behaviours (Sharma et al., 2018).
Australian Govt. (2013). "The social determinants of health". Available online: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/oatsih-healthplan-toc~determinants
Adler, N. E., Cutler, D. M., Jonathan, J. E., Galea, S., Glymour, M., Koh, H. K., & Satcher, D. (2016). Addressing social determinants of health and health disparities. National Academy of Medicine, 1-16.
Adler, N. E., Glymour, M. M., & Fielding, J. (2016). Addressing social determinants of health and health inequalities. Jama, 316(16), 1641-1642.
Artiga, S., Hinton, E., & Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation. (2019). Beyond health care: the role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity. Health, 20, 10.