The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Social Work Interventions for Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Friday, January 18, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:45 AM
Executive Center 1 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Health and Disability
Symposium Organizer:
Darcy Freedman, PhD, University of South Carolina
Social determinants of health (SDOH) perspectives extend purely biomedical conceptualizations to provide more comprehensive understandings of health that consider the influence of the social milieu on health outcomes. SDOH perspectives emphasize a range of social, behavioral, and biological factors and their interactions that are considered to be important to the production of health including socio-cultural and economic conditions (e.g., racism, globalization), living and working conditions (e.g., water sanitation, education systems), and social networks and social capital as well as individual characteristics (e.g., biology, genetics) (Warnecke et al., 2008). SDOH perspectives are essential for addressing disparities in health among peoples experiencing different and often marginalized social contexts, social conditions, and social positions.

We introduce three studies focused on SDOH related to different health outcomes disparately affecting African Americans: cancer, obesity, and kidney disease. The first study focuses on the influence of discrimination on biology laying the groundwork for aggressive breast cancer. This study employs a transdisciplinary approach that combines multi-level data to highlight the social production of breast cancer. A neighborhood support intervention model is presented to mitigate the relationship between discrimination and health outcomes among African American women. The second study employs a community-based participatory research approach to address the relationship between local food environments and obesity trends. This study highlights the feasibility of implementing a farmers’ market at a federally qualified health center in a rural, majority African American county. Data provide support for policy initiatives focused on improving local food environments as well as initiatives that target low-income, food insecure populations receiving federal food subsidies such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers. The third study focuses on the influence of social networks on kidney transplantation among African Americans. Findings reveal the benefit of having people in one’s personal and health-related (i.e., kidney dialysis team) social network who are aware of and provide information about kidney transplantation. Discussion will focus on interventions that maximize the delivery of kidney transplantation information through formal and informal channels within one’s social network to increase access to kidney transplant services and reduce transplantation disparities. The studies combine to highlight the unique role social work researchers and practitioners can play in efforts to promote health equity by addressing SDOH.

Warnecke, R. B., et al. (2008). Approaching health disparities from a population perspective: the National Institutes of Health Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 98(9), 1608-1615.

* noted as presenting author
The Impact of Psychosocial Variables On Breast Cancer Subtype and a Proposed, Multi-Level Intervention
Sarah Bollinger, MSW, Washington University in Saint Louis; Lailea J. Noel, MA, Washington University in Saint Louis; Sarah Gehlert, PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis; En-Jung Shon, MSW, Washington University in Saint Louis
Feasibility of Operating a FQHC-Based Farmers' Market in a Rural Context
Darcy Freedman, PhD, University of South Carolina; Jason Greene, BS, University of South Carolina; Edith Anadu, PhD, Family Health Centers, Inc; Samira Khan, MSW, University of South Carolina; James Hebert, ScD, University of South Carolina
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