Social determinants effects from the Italian risk factor surveillance system PASSI
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- Minardi, V., Campostrini, S., Carrozzi, G. et al. Int J Public Health (2011) 56: 359. doi:10.1007/s00038-011-0241-0
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To offer examples on how risk factor surveillance systems can help in providing useful information on social determinants effects and health inequalities.
The Italian risk factor surveillance system (PASSI) collects monthly information from most of the Italian Local Health Units (over 85% of the Italian population is covered) on major health-related behaviours together with information on health practices, attitudes and opinions. Multivariate analysis of associations with possible indicators of social determinants collected by the system, offers important indications on the value that the system has in providing useful information on the effects of social determinants.
Social determinants, although measured through very simple indicators, have major influence on health outcomes (in the example here, depression), geographical disparities in health (efficacy of smoking ban), and access to preventive services (pap test in our analysis).
Risk factor surveillance can offer valuable information for monitoring social determinants effects and inequalities, and, when considering data over time, for evaluating the gross impact of future interventions and policies aimed at reducing them.