[Contextual indicators to assess social determinants of health and the Spanish economic recession]

Gac Sanit. May-Jun 2017;31(3):194-203. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.06.014. Epub 2016 Aug 21.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To provide indicators to assess the impact on health, its social determinants and health inequalities from a social context and the recent economic recession in Spain and its autonomous regions.

Methods: Based on the Spanish conceptual framework for determinants of social inequalities in health, we identified indicators sequentially from key documents, Web of Science, and organisations with official statistics. The information collected resulted in a large directory of indicators which was reviewed by an expert panel. We then selected a set of these indicators according to geographical (availability of data according to autonomous regions) and temporal (from at least 2006 to 2012) criteria.

Results: We identified 203 contextual indicators related to social determinants of health and selected 96 (47%) based on the above criteria; 16% of the identified indicators did not satisfy the geographical criteria and 35% did not satisfy the temporal criteria. At least 80% of the indicators related to dependence and healthcare services were excluded. The final selection of indicators covered all areas for social determinants of health, and 62% of these were not available on the Internet. Around 40% of the indicators were extracted from sources related to the Spanish Statistics Institute.

Conclusions: We have provided an extensive directory of contextual indicators on social determinants of health and a database to facilitate assessment of the impact of the economic recession on health and health inequalities in Spain and its autonomous regions.

Keywords: Desigualdades en salud; Determinantes sociales de la salud; Economic recession; España; Gender identity; Health indicators; Healthcare inequalities; Identidad de género; Indicadores de salud; Public health surveillance; Recesión económica; Social determinants of health; Spain; Vigilancia en salud pública.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual
  • Economic Recession*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Determinants of Health / economics*
  • Spain
  • Young Adult