While the concept of social determinants of health is not new, we have a program in women’s health that focuses on 7 domains of health for women.
Physical Health is defined by the health of a woman’s body and conditions that can affect health. Health topics such as height, weight, body mass index, and blood pressure, the state of health of the heart, intestines, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, bones, breast, ovaries, vagina, and uterus are routinely screened in health providers’ offices.
Social Health for women encompasses the health of a woman’s social setting, including her family and community. Many health behaviors are learned from our social and cultural roots, including physical activity and diet.
Emotional Health of a woman is crucial to the overall health. 1 in 5 women will experience an episode of clinical depression in her lifetime and more than half will never seek treatment. Depression affects women about twice as often as men.
Intellectual health is important for all beings. Intellectual stimulation is important for sense of well being and even improves the consequences of aging. Health literacy is also crucial for women’s health in order to understand and act upon the information that their health care provider gives to them and their family.
Environmental health is the state of the environment that we live in (water, air, etc), and can have a significant impact on women’s health and the health of their families.
Financial health often affects health indirectly. A woman needs financial security for herself and her family. When poverty controls an individual their access to care and health services is reduced & their ability to get help that they need is diminished. Women are likely to move in and out of the paid labor force during different life stages.
Spiritual health Human beings have for millennia tried to understand their place in the universe and nature. Spiritual health is not only a person’s religious persuasion, but also a person’s relationship to nature, a supreme being, and to other dimensions of the human spirit—the interconnectedness of all things.
7 domains of health is a concept that is not new. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”. In quality of life research, different domains of life are regarded as important to an individual’s overall quality of existence.
Copyright: University of Utah Center of Excellence in Women’s Health 2009