Leveraging the social determinants of health: What works?

social determinants of health

Publication: PLoS One

Social determinants of health have taken center stage in recent health policy discussions. This study reviews the recent peer-reviewed literature about the impact of investments in social services or investments in integrated models of health care and social services on health outcomes and spending. Of the 39 articles that were reviewed, 82% of the articles reported significant positive effects on health outcomes, health care costs, or both.

This research study found that several interventions were associated with poorer health outcomes. Their analysis indicates that several interventions in the areas of housing, income support, nutrition support, and care coordination and community outreach have had positive impact in health improvements or health care spending reductions. These interventions may be of interest to health care policymakers and practitioners seeking to leverage social services to improve health or reduce costs.