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The health gap: Doctors and the social determinants of health

Marmot, M; (2017) The health gap: Doctors and the social determinants of health. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health , 45 (7) pp. 686-693. 10.1177/1403494817717448. Green open access

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Abstract

The social gradient in health has the clear implication that action to improve health and reduce inequalities has to take place at social level, not simply depending on individual changes. Individuals' ability to change is constrained by social circumstances. The evidence that the magnitude of the gradient varies between countries, and can change within a country over time, suggests that conscious strategies to change it can be successful. In my review of evidence in Britain, the Marmot Review, we made recommendations in six domains: give every child the best start in life; education and life-long learning; employment and working conditions; ensure that everyone has at least the minimum income necessary to lead a health life; healthy and sustainable places; taking a social determinants approach to prevention. A big question is the role of health professionals in action on social determinants of health. We have identified five actions in implementing recommendations: education and training; seeing the patient in broader perspective; the health service as employer; working in partnership; advocacy. The evidence is encouraging that health professionals can make a big difference in advancing the cause of health equity.

Type: Article
Title: The health gap: Doctors and the social determinants of health
Location: Sweden
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1403494817717448
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494817717448
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Health Status Disparities, Humans, Physician's Role, Social Determinants of Health, Socioeconomic Factors, United Kingdom
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051968
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