Health Inequalities

A reading list for considering Health Inequalities within the context of designing Health Promotion interventions.

By Sir Michael Marmot

Marmot, M. (2017). Social justice, epidemiology and health inequalities. European Journal of Epidemiology, 32(7), 537-546. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-017-0286-3

Marmot, M. (2015). The health gap: the challenge of an unequal world. The Lancet, 386(10011), 2442-2444. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00150-6

Background reading on Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's theories of capabilities

Tengland, P. A. (2020). Health and capabilities: a conceptual clarification. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 23(1), 25-33. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-019-09902-w

On differing definitions and measurements

Albert-Ballestar, S., García-Altés, A. Measuring health inequalities: a systematic review of widely used indicators and topics. Int J Equity Health 20, 73 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-021-01397-3

McCartney, G., Popham, F., McMaster, R., & Cumbers, A. (2019). Defining health and health inequalities. Public Health, 172, 22-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2019.03.023

On Social Determinants more broadly

Sallis, J. F., Owen, N. (2015) Ecological models of health behavior. In Glanz et al. Health behavior: theory, research, and practice. (5th ed.) Jossey-Bass, 43-64. (e-book)

Braveman, P., Egerter, S., & Williams, D. R. (2011). The social determinants of health: coming of age. Annual Review of Public Health, 32, 381-398. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031210-101218

Phelan, J. C., Link, B. G., & Tehranifar, P. (2010). Social conditions as fundamental causes of health inequalities: theory, evidence, and policy implications. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(1_suppl), S28-S40. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022146510383498

Golden, S. D., & Earp, J. A. L. (2012). Social ecological approaches to individuals and their contexts: twenty years of health education & behavior health promotion interventions. Health education & behavior, 39(3), 364-372. https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198111418634

Dorling, D. (2013). Think Piece. In Place of Fear: Narrowing health inequalities http://classonline.org.uk/docs/2013_05_Think_piece_-_In_Place_of_Fear_(Danny_Dorling).pdf

On what works (and doesn't)

Thomson, K., Hillier-Brown, F., Todd, A., McNamara, C., Huijts, T., & Bambra, C. (2018). The effects of public health policies on health inequalities in high-income countries: an umbrella review. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 869. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5677-1

Baum, F., & Fisher, M. (2014). Why behavioural health promotion endures despite its failure to reduce health inequities. Sociology of health & illness, 36(2), 213-225. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12112

Donkin A, Goldblatt P, Allen J, et al (2018) Global action on the social determinants of health BMJ Global Health 3:e000603. https://gh.bmj.com/content/3/Suppl_1/e000603

Frohlich, K. L., & Potvin, L. (2008). Transcending the known in public health practice: the inequality paradox: the population approach and vulnerable populations. American journal of public health, 98(2), 216-221. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2007.114777

Kriznik, N. M., Kinmonth, A. L., Ling, T., & Kelly, M. P. (2018). Moving beyond individual choice in policies to reduce health inequalities: the integration of dynamic with individual explanations. Journal of Public Health, 40(4), 764-775. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy045

On the framing of Inequality and how this can be problematic

Lynch, J. (2017). Reframing inequality? The health inequalities turn as a dangerous frame shift. Journal of Public Health, 39(4), 653-660. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdw140

On what Health Promoters can do on the ground

Pedersen, P. V., Hjelmar, U., Høybye, M. T., & Rod, M. H. (2017). Can inequality be tamed through boundary work? A qualitative study of health promotion aimed at reducing health inequalities. Social science & medicine, 185, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.025

On perpetuating Health Inequalities through Health Promotion

Lorenc, T., Petticrew, M., Welch, V., & Tugwell, P. (2013). What types of interventions generate inequalities? Evidence from systematic reviews. J Epidemiol Community Health, 67(2), 190-193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2012-201257

White M, Adams J, Heywood P. (2009) How and why do interventions that increase health overall widen inequalities within populations? In Social inequality and public health. Edited by Babones SJ. Bristol: Policy Press 64–81.

Wiltshire, G., Lee, J., & Williams, O. (2019). Understanding the reproduction of health inequalities: Physical activity, social class and Bourdieu’s habitus. Sport, Education and Society, 24(3), 226-240. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2017.1367657

Helpful PHE Resources

PHE Wider Determinants Tool https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/wider-determinants

Closing the health gap and reducing inequalities https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2017/09/08/closing-the-health-gap-and-reducing-inequalities/

Health Profile for England https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-profile-for-england-2019

Public Health Matters Blog (Health Inequalities tag) - https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/category/priority2/health-inequalities-priority2/

Health Equity Assessment Tool (HEAT) (2020)-

Health Inequities and COVID19

Bambra, C., Riordan, R., Ford, J., & Matthews, F. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic and health inequalities. J Epidemiol Community Health. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2020-214401

Kawachi, I. (2020) COVID-19 and the ‘rediscovery’ of health inequities, International Journal of Epidemiology, , dyaa159, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa159

Recommended Books

Schrecker, T., & Bambra, C. (2015). How politics makes us sick: Neoliberal epidemics. Springer.

Bartley, M. (2016). Health inequality: an introduction to concepts, theories and methods. John Wiley & Sons.

Marmot, M. (2015). The health gap: the challenge of an unequal world. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2010). The spirit level: why equality is better for everyone. Penguin UK.

Wilkinson, R., & Pickett, K. (2018). The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing Allen Lane


Credit:

Thanks to @jana_semrau for the Frohlich and Lorenc suggestions.