The social determinants of health and the rural Hispanic community of west Texas



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Over the past 10 years there has been increasing interest concerning the social determinants of health, many researchers are starting to examine its influence and effects on health perceptions, health outcomes, and health disparities. Yet, limited information is known on how these social determinants of health affect diverse population groups in the U.S. who are at-risk for chronic illnesses. The purpose of this pilot study was to provide foundational work for future studies on SDOH and diverse populations, by administering a survey that sought knowledge on how a group of rural Hispanics in west Texas discuss, access, and perceive information about health and being healthy in their communities. Results from this study revealed, that although rural Hispanics in west Texas in this study are at risk for chronic illnesses, this population engages in conversations about health, they want to be healthy, and believe health is important, but lack the adequate resources that teach them about health. Furthermore, in this study the researcher discovered that women in this study play a pertinent role in the decision making of food choice and food consumption in their communities. Future research interested in SDOH and health disparities in diverse populations should conduct further fuller studies by addressing at least 5 questions from each of the SDOH areas. In addition, more message effects questions should be asked that draw from communication-based theories such as framing and narrative.

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Hispanic, Health communication, SDOH