A recent Audiology Today article discussed childhood hearing loss and social determinants of health (Martin, 2023). Social determinants of health are “conditions in the environments where people are born, live, work, play worship and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks” (Healthy People 2030, 2023). This month, Mykyta (2023) shared data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey exploring differences in reports of serious psychological distress as a function of work conditions.
Serious psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (Kessler et al, 2003). While less than three percent of working adults in 2021 reported serious psychological distress, the percentage of those adults reporting distress differed significantly as a function of the type of shift worked, variability in earnings from one month to the next, perceived job security, ability to change their work schedule, availability of paid sick leave, and having to work while physically ill. Readers are encouraged to read the full article for details regarding these differences.
The recent publications of Martin (2023) and Mykyta (2023) remind us of that there may be factors that happen outside of our clinic walls that can have an impact on the health outcomes of our patients.
Healthy People 2030. (2023) Social determinants of health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (accessed April 26, 2023).
Kessler R, Barker P, Colpe L, et al. (2003) Screening for serious mental illness in the general population. Arch Gen Psych. 60(2):184–189.
Martin P. (2023). A different lens: Social determinants of health and childhood hearing loss. Audiology Today 35(3):46–53.
Mykyta L. (2023) Work conditions and serious psychological distress among working adults aged 18–64: United States, 2021. NCHS Data Brief, no 467. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. DOI:10.15620/cdc:126566.
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