Social Behavioral Determinants of Health and the Omaha System

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 1
Words: 281
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

Social behavioral determinants of health, or SBHD, are factors such as socioeconomic status, educational background, physical environment, employment, social support system, access to healthcare, and a variety of other aspects that influence an individual’s wellbeing. Issues with both physical and mental health stem from such social determinants, and in order to address the source of a health problem, it is often necessary to identify and address them (Artiga & Hinton, 2018). They are also indicators of disparities within health care systems. Currently, initiatives exist that promote health equity by taking social determinants into consideration. Programs within and outside the health care system exist to alter or formulate new policies, practices, and equity strategies. They are based on the determinants that are able to expose current disparities in the health sector. Providers orient a number of activities within local settings to address the specific needs of a chosen demographic.

The Omaha System is constructed of an assessment, care plan, and evaluation component. The social determinants are discussed in the initial element, the problem classification scheme of the Omaha System. Essentially, the improved application of terms that define social determinants and their relationship with health issues are better presented within the Omaha System than any other system of terminology. This is because many other assessment tools are unable to define whether social determinants were even addressed in an interaction with a patient. The Omaha System is also able to categorize determinants in an adequate way which is essential not only to the assessment stage but also to the evaluation. This is because evidence-based outcomes with a clear connection to the social determinants can create a link between certain health risks and social-behavioral indicators.


Artiga, S., & Hinton, E. (2018). Beyond health care: the role of social determinants in promoting health and health equity. KFF. Web.