The First Pan-European Sociological Health Inequalities Survey: The European Social Survey Rotating Module on the Social Determinants of Health

The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial, academically driven, cross-sectional, pan-European social survey that charts and explains the interactions between Europe’s changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. This article presents the rationale for a rotating module that provides a comprehensive and comparative pan-European data set on the social determinants of health and health inequalities, the health outcomes, and social determinants that were included, and some of the opportunities that the module provides for advancing research into explaining the distribution and aetiology of social inequalities in health in Europe. By including unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, childhood conditions, housing conditions, working conditions, and variables describing access to healthcare, together with an extensive set of mental and physical health outcomes, the ESS has strengthened its position tremendously as a data source for sociologists wanting to perform European cross-national analyses of health inequalities.

Authors: T. A. Eikemo, C. Bambra, T. Huijts, R. Fitzgerald

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Built environment (housing, transport, urban planning), Employment, occupational health, adult education, youth employment, Financial security, social protection, social inclusion, access to care, poverty, Maternal health, pre- peri-natal, childhood conditions, adolescent health, education, Non-communicable diseases, alcohol, nutrition, obesity, cancer, smoking, physical activity

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