Select Page


Social determinants of health (SDoH) is a relatively new term in health care. As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), SDoH are “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels”. The social determinants of health also determine access and quality of medical care—sometimes referred to as medical social determinants of health.  There is a viewpoint,  for health care to find its role in population health, and some providers believe there is enough science to support integration of SDoH into health care and are pursuing evidence-informed interventions with community partners. This paper considers what is known and what can be learned about SDoH to achieve the national quality strategy of better care, healthy people/healthy communities, and affordable care.