Incorporation of social determinants of health in the peer-reviewed literature: A systematic review of articles authored by the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention


OBJECTIVES: Social determinants of health (SDHs) are the complex, structural, and societal factors that are responsible for most health inequities. Since 2003, the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) has researched how SDHs place communities at risk for communicable diseases and poor adolescent health. We described the frequency and types of SDHs discussed in articles authored by NCHHSTP. METHODS: We used the MEDLINE/PubMed search engine to systematically review the frequency and type of SDHs that appeared in peer-reviewed publications available in PubMed from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2014, with a NCHHSTP affiliation. We chose search terms to identify articles with a focus on the following SDH categories: income and employment, housing and homelessness, education and schooling, stigma or discrimination, social or community context, health and health care, and neighborhood or built environment. We classified articles based on the depth of topic coverage as “substantial” (ie, one of /=4 foci of the article). RESULTS: Of 862 articles authored by NCHHSTP, 366 (42%) addressed the SDH factors of interest. Some articles addressed >1 SDH factor (366 articles appeared 568 times across the 7 categories examined), and we examined them for each category that they addressed. Most articles that addressed SDHs (449/568 articles; 79%) had a minimal SDH focus. SDH categories that were most represented in the literature were health and health care (190/568 articles; 33%) and education and schooling (118/568 articles; 21%). CONCLUSIONS: This assessment serves as a baseline measurement of inclusion of SDH topics from NCHHSTP authors in the literature and creates a methodology that can be used in future assessments of this topic


Friedman EE, Dean HD, Duffus WA




  • Determinants of Health
    • Housing
    • Employment
    • Food security
    • Income
    • Education
    • Social support
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population


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