Step 3: Assess the Community's Determinants of Health
Toolkit for Community Organizers:
Steps for Addressing Chlamydia in Your Community
Social determinants of health are the complex, integrated and overlapping social structures that include social, physical and economic environments that impact health.
Determinants of health help to describe the community you are working with to solve your problem. Exploring social, physical and economic determinants uncover the root causes of chlamydia. Think…Why might youth decide to be sexually active? What influences this decision? Why might sexually active youth not use a condom? What social, physical or economic factors influence this behavior?
|Social environment –
This is the aggregate of social and cultural institutions, norms, patterns, beliefs and processes that influence the life of an individual or community.
|Physical environment –
Comprised of both the natural and built environments, is the structure and function of the environment and how it impacts health.
|Economic environment -
A composite of economic, social and work status as indicated by income, education level and occupation. Health is influenced by one’s access to and consumption of goods, services and knowledge.
MN Student Survey
MN Student Survey
MN Student Survey
|References: Social Determinants of Health (Word)|
- Use data that already exists when possible. A few good sources of community data:
- College Student Health Survey A comprehensive look at health care access and utilization, mental and chemical health, health behaviors and finances of postsecondary students in Minnesota.
- Youth Risk Behaviors Surveillance Systems A national surveillance of risk behaviors among 9-12th graders that are the leading causes of death, disability and social problems in youth and adults.
- Minnesota Student Survey A survey of Minnesota students collected every three years about activities, experiences, health behaviors, school climate, violence and safety, and community connectedness.
- CDC Sexually Transmitted Diseases National surveillance reports of STDs.
- MDH STD Surveillance Annual reports of reportable STDs in Minnesota.
- Teenwise MN Adolescent Sexual Health Reports:
- CDC School Health Profiles Survey the health policies and practices of middle and high schools nationally. Conducted biennially.
- Minnesota Report Cards Data about school and district demographic information, staffing, test results, student progress, graduation rates, student engagement, safety and connectedness in Minnesota.
- United States Census Bureau Statistics on demographics, housing, health and economy of states, counties, cities and towns with populations of 5,000 people or more.
- Organize and present the data to tell the story of chlamydia in your community.
Kandiyohi County & CHAS
CHAS investigated the root causes of chlamydia disparities and the determinants of sexual health in Kandiyohi County using existing data. They looked at factors including educational attainment, links between high school graduation and post secondary degrees; teen pregnancy and birth rates; diversity of the student population and mobility of students; employment and household income; homeownership disparities among young families; access to medical care and uninsured rates; and connections to faith communities. These root causes may be related to the high rates of chlamydia:
These data were previously collected and provided a foundation of evidence to present in Strategy Group meetings. It was difficult for the coalition to keep congruent with the social determinants of health through the planning process.
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