Special Issue "The Implications of the Social Determinants of Health for Quality of Life, and Wellbeing"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Ann Hemingway
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Professor of Public Health, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth House B129, 19 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3LH, UK
Interests: public health; ageing; applied/experimental psychology; lifestyles and identities; older people; work place health
Dr. Vanessa Heaslip
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Nursing Science, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth House B129, 19 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3LH, UK
Interests: well-being; marginalized groups; health access; Gypsy Roma Travellers; mental health; equality and diversity
Dr. Folashade Tawakalitu Alloh
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Health and nursing, University of East London, Stratford Campus, Water Lane, London, E15 4LZ, UK
Interests: public health; minority; lifestyle; immigrant; non-communicable diseases; inequality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

Inequalities in health are the differences in the prevalence or incidence of health problems between people of higher and lower socio-economic status. The research evidence internationally tells us overwhelmingly that the lower an individual’s socio-economic position, the higher their risk of poor health. Inequities in health consist of these differences, but understood as being preventable and therefore unjust and wrong. Whatever is different about the lived experience of people across income groups has a profound effect on their risks of physical and mental illness and early death. The experiences we have as humans are greatly influenced by the conditions within which we are born, grow, work (play), live (love) and age and by the inequities in power, money and resources that influence these conditions of daily life, the social determinants of health (Marmot 2015).

It would appear that if one looks closely at income inequality research, the most likely explanation is that it is what individuals are able to ‘‘be’’ and ‘‘do’’ at each level of our social hierarchy that produces the gradient in ill health, particularly in relation to empowerment or disempowerment, rather than the simple fact of their being in possession of different amounts of income once basic needs are met (Sen, 2002, Marmot 2015).

Papers that combine methodological robustness, that further our understanding of human wellbeing and quality of life and how these are influenced by the social determinants of health, are encouraged.

Prof. Ann Hemingway
Dr. Folashade Tawakalitu Alloh
Dr. Vanessa Heaslip
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • inequalities
  • inequities
  • health
  • wellbeing
  • quality of life
  • social determinants

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Risk of Low Birth Weight According to Household Composition in Brussels and Montreal: Do Income Support Policies Variations Explain the Differences Observed between Both Regions?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157936 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Variations in social policy between countries provide opportunities to assess the impact of these policies on health inequities. This study compares the risk of low birth weight in Brussels and Montreal, according to household composition, and discusses the impact of income support policies. [...] Read more.
Variations in social policy between countries provide opportunities to assess the impact of these policies on health inequities. This study compares the risk of low birth weight in Brussels and Montreal, according to household composition, and discusses the impact of income support policies. For each context, we estimated the impact of income support policies on the extent of poverty of welfare recipients, using the model family method. Based on the differences found, we tested hypotheses on the association between low birth weight and household composition, using administrative data from the birth register and social security in each region. The extent of poverty of welfare families differs according to household composition. In Quebec, the combination of low welfare benefits and larger family allowances widens the gap between households with children and those without children. The risk of LBW also differs between these two contexts according to the number of children. Compared to children born into large welfare families, first-born children are more at risk in Montreal than in Brussels. In addition to the usual comparative studies on the topic, our study highlights the importance of an evaluative perspective that considers the combination of different types of income support measures to better identify the most vulnerable households. Full article
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Article
The Role of Finding Out in Type 2 Diabetes Management among West-African Immigrants Living in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6037; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116037 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 909
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) prevalence is three times higher among West African Immigrants compared to the general population in the UK. The challenges of managing T2DM among this group have resulted in complications. Reports have highlighted the impact of migration on the health [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) prevalence is three times higher among West African Immigrants compared to the general population in the UK. The challenges of managing T2DM among this group have resulted in complications. Reports have highlighted the impact of migration on the health of the immigrant population, and this has contributed to the need to understand the influence of living in West Africa, and getting diagnosed with T2DM, in the management of their condition in the UK. Using a qualitative constructivist grounded theory approach, thirty-four West African immigrants living in the UK were recruited for this study. All participants were interviewed using Semi-structured interviews. After coding transcripts, concepts emerged including noticing symptoms, delayed diagnosis, affordability of health services, beliefs about health, feelings at diagnosis, and emotions experienced at diagnosis all contribute to finding out about diagnosis T2DM. These factors were linked to living in West Africa, among participants, and played significant roles in managing T2DM in the UK. These concepts were discussed under finding out as the overarching concept. Findings from this study highlight important aspects of T2DM diagnosis and how lived experiences, of living in West Africa and the UK, contribute to managing T2DM among West African immigrants. The findings of this study can be valuable for healthcare services supporting West African immigrants living in the UK. Full article
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Article
Tobacco Control as an LGBTQ+ Issue: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Recommendations from LGBTQ+ Community Leaders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5546; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115546 - 22 May 2021
Viewed by 812
Abstract
Tobacco companies use price discounts, including coupons and rebates, to market their products. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities are targeted by these marketing strategies, contributing to inequitably high tobacco use. Some localities have adopted policies restricting tobacco price discounts; for [...] Read more.
Tobacco companies use price discounts, including coupons and rebates, to market their products. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities are targeted by these marketing strategies, contributing to inequitably high tobacco use. Some localities have adopted policies restricting tobacco price discounts; for successful implementation, community buy-in is crucial. From July–October 2018, Equality California staff conducted semi-structured interviews with seven participants in Los Angeles, CA. Themes included familiarity with tobacco price discounts, their perceived impact on tobacco use in LGBTQ+ communities, and attitudes toward potential policy restrictions. Interview notes were analyzed using a deductive approach to qualitative analysis. Awareness of tobacco price discounts varied; some interviewees were familiar, while others expressed surprise at their ubiquity. Price discounts were seen to disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those who additionally identify with other vulnerable groups, including young people and communities of color. Support for policy restrictions was unanimous; however, interviewees expressed concern over political opposition and emphasized a need for culturally competent outreach to LGBTQ+ communities. Community organizations are essential in mobilizing support for policy reform. Understanding the perceptions and recommendations of community leaders provides tools for policy action, likely improving outcomes to reduce LGBTQ+ tobacco use through restricting tobacco price discounts. Full article
Article
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome among the Homeless in Taipei City: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041716 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 850
Abstract
The safety and health of homeless people are important social issues. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a sub-health-risk phenomenon that has been severely aggravated worldwide in recent years. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of MetS among [...] Read more.
The safety and health of homeless people are important social issues. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a sub-health-risk phenomenon that has been severely aggravated worldwide in recent years. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of MetS among the homeless in Taipei City, Taiwan. In this study, a convenience sampling was conducted at homeless counseling agencies in Taipei City from April 2018 to September 2018. A total of 297 homeless participants were recruited, from whom clinical indicators and questionnaire information were collected. Through statistical verification, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and logistic regression, we found the following main conclusions for homeless adults in Taipei: (1) The prevalence of MetS was estimated to be 53%, with 50% meeting four or more diagnostic conditions. (2) Dyslipidemia (high-density lipoprotein (HDL) deficiency and elevated triglyceride (TG)) showed the strongest association with the prevalence of MetS; more than 83% of people with HDL deficiency or hypertriglyceridemia had MetS. For the patient groups meeting more MetS diagnostic conditions, the values of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), TG, and total cholesterol (TC) increased significantly. (3) The deterioration of MetS was significantly related to the high prevalence of hyperlipidemia (HL). (4) The homeless who were divorced, separated or widowed were more likely to suffer from MetS. Full article
Article
Correlates of Alcohol Consumption Among a Socially-Disadvantaged Population in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239074 - 04 Dec 2020
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Alcohol consumption at a level exceeding existing recommendations is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability worldwide. The aim of the study was to identify correlates of alcohol drinking among a socially-disadvantaged population in Poland. The cross-sectional study covered 1644 [...] Read more.
Alcohol consumption at a level exceeding existing recommendations is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability worldwide. The aim of the study was to identify correlates of alcohol drinking among a socially-disadvantaged population in Poland. The cross-sectional study covered 1644 adult social assistance beneficiaries from the Piotrkowski district (rural area in central Poland). A detailed questionnaire filled in during a face-to-face interview allowed for the collection of socio-demographic, lifestyle-related (including alcohol consumption) and health status data. About 42% of the participants, including 67% of the men and 30% of the women, exceeded the recommended level of alcohol consumption. In the adjusted model, the men tended not to follow recommendations for alcohol consumption more frequently than the women (OR = 4.5, p < 0.001). The higher odds of not following alcohol-related recommendations were also observed for the subjects declaring having a permanent or temporary job compared to the unemployed participants (OR = 1.2, p = 0.04). A lower healthy lifestyle index (indicating an unhealthy lifestyle related to a diet, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, and tobacco smoking) was associated with not following recommendations for alcohol consumption (OR = 1.1, p = 0.04). Our study indicates that being men, having a permanent or a temporary job, and coexistence of other unfavorable lifestyle-related factors are important correlates of not following recommendations for alcohol consumption among the beneficiaries of government welfare assistance. Full article
Article
Maternal Socioeconomic Factors and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Neonatal Anthropometry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197323 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
Disparities in birthweight by maternal race/ethnicity are commonly observed. It is unclear to what extent these disparities are correlates of individual socioeconomic factors. In a prospective cohort of 1645 low-risk singleton pregnancies included in the NICHD Fetal Growth Study (2009–2013), neonatal anthropometry was [...] Read more.
Disparities in birthweight by maternal race/ethnicity are commonly observed. It is unclear to what extent these disparities are correlates of individual socioeconomic factors. In a prospective cohort of 1645 low-risk singleton pregnancies included in the NICHD Fetal Growth Study (2009–2013), neonatal anthropometry was measured by trained personnel using a standard protocol. Socioeconomic characteristics included employment status, marital status, health insurance, annual income, and education. Separate adjusted generalized linear models were fit to both test the effect of race/ethnicity and the interaction of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic characteristics on neonatal anthropometry. Mean infant birthweight, length, head circumference, and abdominal circumference all differed by race/ethnicity (p < 0.001). We observed no statistically significant interactions between race/ethnicity and full-time employment/student status, marital status, insurance, or education in association with birthweight, neonatal exam weight, length, or head or abdominal circumference at examination. The interaction between income and race/ethnicity was significant only for abdominal circumference (p = 0.027), with no other significant interactions for other growth parameters, suggesting that racial/ethnic differences in neonatal anthropometry did not vary by individual socioeconomic factors in low-risk women. Our results do not preclude structural factors, such as lifetime exposure to poverty, as an explanation for racial/ethnic disparities. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Just World Beliefs and Life Satisfaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176410 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
An important and often unexplored factor shaping life satisfaction is one’s perception of the world as a “just” place. The “just world hypothesis” is predicated on the idea that the world works as a place where people get what they merit, an idea [...] Read more.
An important and often unexplored factor shaping life satisfaction is one’s perception of the world as a “just” place. The “just world hypothesis” is predicated on the idea that the world works as a place where people get what they merit, an idea that often serves as a means for people to rationalize injustices. The research addressing just world beliefs has expanded into a four-factor model that categorizes just world beliefs for self and others into subcategories of distributive and procedural justice. Distributive justice involves evaluations of the fairness of outcomes, allocations, or distribution of resources, while procedural concerns evaluations of the fairness of decision processes, rules, or interpersonal treatment. This study explored the relationship between the four just world beliefs subscales and overall satisfaction with life and examined their associations with demographic variables including ethnicity, age, gender, religion, and social class. The relationships of demographic factors with justice beliefs and life satisfaction generally yielded very small effect sizes. However, respondents who identified themselves as middle and upper class reported higher levels of life satisfaction than those who identified themselves as lower class, with a medium effect size. Consistent with the results of earlier research, regressing life satisfaction on the four justice beliefs subscales indicated that the two self-subscales (distributive and procedural) were significantly predictive of life satisfaction, but the two other subscales (distributive and procedural) were not. Full article

Review

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Review
Use of Technology to Promote Health and Wellbeing of People Who Are Homeless: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136845 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
Background: People who are homeless experience poorer health outcomes and challenges accessing healthcare contribute to the experienced health inequality. There has been an expansion in using technology to promote health and wellbeing and technology has the potential to enable people who are socially [...] Read more.
Background: People who are homeless experience poorer health outcomes and challenges accessing healthcare contribute to the experienced health inequality. There has been an expansion in using technology to promote health and wellbeing and technology has the potential to enable people who are socially excluded, including those who are homeless, to be able to access health services. However, little research has been undertaken to explore how technology is used to promote health and wellbeing for those who are homeless. This review aims to address the questions: ‘what mobile health (mHealth) related technology is used by homeless populations’ and ‘what is the health impact of mobile technology for homeless populations’? Methods: An integrative review methodology was employed. A systematic search of electronic databases was carried out between 4 January 2021 and 30 April 2021, searching for papers published between 2015 and 2021, which yielded 2113 hits, relevant papers were selected using specified inclusion and exclusion criteria reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis. The quality assessment of each paper included in the review was undertaken using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Results: Seventeen papers were selected for review and thematic analysis identified four themes: technology ownership, barriers to use, connectivity and health benefits. Conclusion: It is evident that technology has the potential to support the health and wellbeing of individuals who are homeless; however, there are challenges regarding connectivity to the internet, as well as issues of trust in who has access to personal data and how they are used. Further research is needed to explore the use of health technology with people who are homeless to address these challenges. Full article
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