Applying Social Determinants of Health Indicator Data for Advancing Health Equity - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Applying Social Determinants of Health Indicator Data for Advancing Health Equity

Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)

About this Resource
When to Use It
Things to Consider
Use this Resource

Practices Addressed

Go directly to this resource: Applying Social Determinants of Health Indicator Data for Advancing Health Equity


This guide was developed by the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) Data Committee. It describes how to collect, analyze, share, and display data related to a prioritized list of social determinants of health living condition (SDOH-LC) indicators. It includes information on each of the indicators, data sources, research methodology, and detailed instructions for acquiring data. The guide is broken up into several sections.

The first section, the introduction, includes information about BARHII and the recommendations for the use of the SDOH-LC indicators. There is an FAQ located in this section and a list of the indicators. The Guide is further categorized by "Domains" – economic, service, social and physical.

Each domain is further subdivided by indicator. Each indicator reviews the factors attributable to health and data sources, methodology and instructions are included for the health equity analysis. At the end of each indicator, local examples from the Bay Area in California are included.


When to Use

Use the "Factors Attributable to Health" at the beginning of each indicator as talking points with other sectors, stakeholders, and decision makers to build a shared understanding of Social Determinants of Health. The local health department examples at the end of each indicator section can be useful to spark conversation and provide ideas for local action. There are detailed instructions on getting local data from national databases. These include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Living Wage Calculator, and Uniform Crime Reports. Appendix B gives detailed instructions accompanied by screen shots of finding census tract data for educational attainment in the American Community Survey (ACS) data. These instructions could be used to help search for other data sets.

The authors suggest that once data is gathered and analyzed, it could be used:

  • To justify prioritizing programs and policy changes for certain areas
  • Identify if changes have occurred to continue or change course for programs/policies
  • To mobilize a community to action
  • To design, implement and evaluate the 10 essential services (see pp. 20-21)


Things to Consider

This guide is quite complex and a large investment of time will be required to collect, analyze and display these indicators. Much of the data development and analysis will require an epidemiologist, skilled statistician and/or Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist. However, the detailed instructions for accessing some of the data needed for the indicators should be adequate for most public health professionals.


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Practices Addressed by This Resource

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