May 5, 2009

Word Bank

Health Inequities, Health Disparities, Social Determinants of Health

I really like the new language and people’s conscious effort to move towards more inclusive terms that still denote that we have an issue with the way class, gender, race, and so forth factor into people’s health status.

For many, health disparities connote race, exclusively. I also think for a lot of people inequities only mean race and money, and not some of the other elements such as rural locations.

Although I don’t think we should push to change language specifically because people fail to or don’t take the time to understand concepts thoroughly, I recognize that when your dealing with touchy topics such as disparities or unequal access there is a lot of overused language out there.

So if it takes some novel and catchy phrasing like social determinants of health to lead people to think about things in ways that would not have previously, let’s go for it.

It can only help, right?