Project for Ontario Women’s Health Evidence Based Report. (2012). Social Determinants of Health and Populations at Risk. Bierman, A.S., et al; Toronto, ON. Retrieved from http://www.powerstudy.ca/the-power-report/the-power-report-volume-2/social-determinants-of-health-and-populations-at-risk.
“The Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report (POWER) has taken a comprehensive look at health inequities in Ontario associated with income, education, race/ethnicity, where one lives, and how these differ by gender. In doing so, we documented sizable and modifiable health inequities across multiple measures. We have also demonstrated that the social determinants of health affect the health of women and men differently. It is well-known that social factors—rather than medical care or health behaviours—are the primary drivers of health and health inequities. The social determinants of health influence both physical and mental health. Furthermore, the social determinants of health, which work through many complex and intertwining pathways, are not evenly distributed across the population. The POWER Study Framework emphasizes the importance of these social factors, while recognizing that the way we shape our health care services and community resources can mediate the effects of the social determinants of health.
Prior reports have examined the burden of illness in the population, access to health care services, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, musculoskeletal conditions, diabetes, reproductive health, and HIV infection by assessing variation in performance on a broad set of evidence-based indicators of population health and health system performance. We identified many opportunities for intervention and improvement, and we worked closely with decision makers across the province to ensure that our objective findings would be used to inform practice an policy. In this chapter, we synthesize prior analyses that examined the health of low-income, minority, and immigrant women, and enrich this by reporting additional indicators of the social determinants of health and immigrant women’s health. In doing so, we paint a powerful picture of the health needs of populations at risk, how these differ among women and men in different groups, and highlight the role of the social determinants of health.”