Explaining the wider determinants of health in the UK

The Health Foundation have released a study to address health inequalities, to change the way that we communicate about the wider determinants of health – to increase public understanding and to build space for policy change. The report outlines an evidence-based framing strategy for shifting understanding and building greater support for action to address the wider determinants of health. The strategy centres on making the issue more tangible for people by using explanation.

The FrameWorks Institute was commissioned to examine how people perceive their health, and the health of others, and based on this, recommend how we can frame health communications to tell a more powerful story.

Key points

  • Framing –  the choices surrounding how concepts are framed – affects how people think, feel and act.
  • Firstly, there is a need to start by explaining why the wider determinants of health matter. Right now, in the poorest parts of the UK, people are dying years earlier than people in wealthier areas. Quite simply – this is a matter of life and death.
  • Secondly, there is a need to ‘go deep’ in our explanation of the issue to show how and why our health is shaped by these wider determinants, and why experiences are unequal across the country.
  • Thirdly, communication needs to be solutions-focused to explain how these issues can, and should, be solved.
Organisations & Initiatives Working on Health Inequalities, Policy & Policy Analysis, Research
Health systems and services, primary health care, integrated systems, prevention services, health workforce, Non-communicable diseases, alcohol, nutrition, obesity, cancer, smoking, physical activity
United Kingdom

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