In what ways can health professionals use the SEM to address health disparities associated with the social determinants of health? How can health professionals use the SEM to implement effective interventions to improve health outcomes?
The social determinants of health are those unfair conditions in the social environment that affect how people live. These unfair conditions also increase the risk for illness and can reduce life expectancy. The inequitable distribution of various social determinants of health, such as substandard housing conditions or poverty, exacerbates health disparities. Yet, the social determinants of health are influenced by greater political and economic forces at the global, national, and local levels.
The SEM is useful for planning interventions that focus on social determinants. The model allows health professionals to consider individual health behaviors within a socio-ecological context. The socio-ecological context provides a whole-system approach to health and the built environment. Using an integrated socio-ecological framework, health professionals can explore the role of substandard housing, poverty, or education in creating disparate health outcomes. Health professionals can also gain further insight for strategies to challenge society, the economic or political climate, and to transform inequitable environments.
Post an explanation of how you would apply the interpersonal and organizational levels of the Socio-Ecological Model for the prevention of colorectal cancer. Explain how these levels of the Socio-Ecological Model might contribute to or influence proposed interventions for colorectal cancer.