EcoHealth and the Determinants of Health: Perspectives of a Small Subset of Canadian Academics in the EcoHealth Community

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Aug 8;15(8):1688. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081688.


EcoHealth is an emerging field that examines the complex relationships among humans, animals, and the environment, and how these relationships affect the health of each of these domains. The different types of determinants of health greatly influence human health and well-being. Therefore, EcoHealth's ability to improve human, animal, and environmental health and well-being is, in part, influenced by its ability to acknowledge and integrate the determinants of health. However, our previous research demonstrates that the academic EcoHealth literature had a low, uneven engagement with the determinants of health. Accordingly, to make sense of this gap, our research aim is to better understand the views of a small subset of the Canadian EcoHealth community about EcoHealth and the determinants of health relative to EcoHealth. We used a qualitative research design involving seven semi-structured interviews, which were analyzed using thematic analysis. Our findings suggest a tension across themes and a lack of conceptual engagement with the determinants of health. As we consider a future with rapid, unsustainable changes, we expect the identification and integration of the different types of determinants of health within EcoHealth to be imperative for EcoHealth to attain its goal of improving the health and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment.

Keywords: EcoHealth; cultural determinants of health; determinants of health; ecological determinants of health; environmental determinants of health; global health governance; health (in)equity; political determinants of health; public health; social determinants of health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Concept Formation
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Health* / trends
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Politics
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Determinants of Health* / trends