Social determinants of health have attracted the attention of governments, policy makers and international health organisations over the last three decades (Hankivsky & Christoffersen 2008). This is because social conditions which people are born in, live and work play an important role in their health outcomes (WHO 2015). According to Kibesh (1200) social determinants drive health disparities, disrupts the human developmental process and undermine the quality of life and opportunities for people and families (ref). Thus, several theories have been developed over the years to provide in-depth understanding of the social determinants of health and to reduce health inequalities (Hankivsky & Christoffersen, 2008). However, there is still significant…show more content… In so doing it has created awareness and led to a discussion about the implications of social inequalities on health outcomes of individuals over the years. The theory also provides a broad perspective about disease processes. This has allowed health researcher/professionals to design holistic treatment/care plans that does not only focus on the biomedical disease process but to take other aspects of people’s life into consideration (WHO, 2010).
However, the theory might not be applicable to other cultures. Generally, people from different cultural backgrounds have personal coping and social resources that can assist them to avoid negative experiences that affect health status, and to deal with such experiences when they happen. Therefore, most of the psychosocial variables that might impact on the health Westerners may not apply well to those from highly different cultural backgrounds (Fernando, 2010). Another disadvantage of the theory is that it generally focusses on individuals and proximal factors (Sundmacher, Scheller-Kreinsen, & Busse…show more content… In this study Krieger used a scientific method to demonstrate the impact of health inequalities due to discrimination. She also used embodiment a key concept in ecosocial theory to explain how/why there are inequalities in infant mortality in the United States.
Focusing on the similarities and differences of the theories
Although very divergent in their focus, the existing theoretical models seem to have some similarities and differences. This is especially true in regard to their factors of analysis when considering social determinants of health. For example, Krieger’s ecosocial theory encompasses and acknowledges the roles of social and psychosocial processes of disease process (WHO 2010).
Moreover, psychosocial theories generally emphasize on individual’s perceptions while social production focus on a society or a group of people. Furthermore, ecosocial model does not follow linear progression as the other two theories (ref).