Social determinants of health

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications on this topic completed by the Rural Health Research Centers.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.

2021

2020

  • Substance Use Among Rural and Urban Youth and Young Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2020
    This study uses national data to examine rural-urban differences in the rates of substance use among youth and young adults. Findings can help inform rural-specific prevention strategies and research targeting rural communities.
  • Racial and Ethnic Differences in Self-Rated Health Among Rural Residents
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2020
    This study looks at racial and ethnic differences in self-rated health among rural residents as well as whether these differences can be explained by socio-demographic characteristics. Researchers used data from the 2011–2017 National Health Interview Survey to study differences in rural residents' self-rated health by race and ethnicity.
  • Rural-Urban Differences Among Older Adults
    Chartbook
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2020
    This chartbook presents the characteristics of older adults in rural counties, as well as rural-urban differences among older adults, across four domains: demographics, socioeconomic characteristics, healthcare access and use, and health characteristics.
  • Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of Middle-Aged Adults Living Alone in Rural Counties
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2020
    This report shares insights from healthcare providers in 14 rural counties with the highest rates of middle-aged adults living alone in order to inform policy and practice in how best to support the health and well-being of this demographic.
  • Characteristics of Counties with the Highest Proportion of the Oldest Old
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    The "oldest old," or individuals age 85 and older, are one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, yet little is known about where those individuals tend to live and what their communities are like. This information is important for planning how to best respond to and support this growing population.
  • Rural-Urban Residence and Mortality Among Three Cohorts of U.S. Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    Rural residents have a shorter life expectancy than urban residents. We analyzed national linked survey and death certificate data and found risk of death was 10% higher for rural than urban residents and has increased over time. Findings suggest the overall mortality penalty in rural areas may be partly driven by social determinants of health.
  • Rates of Living Alone by Rurality and Age
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2020
    In this infographic, we identify rates of living alone for all adults and within specific age groups using two classifications of rurality.

2019

  • Healthy People 2020: Rural Areas Lag in Achieving Targets for Major Causes of Death
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    For the period 2007-2017 rural death rates were higher than urban rates for the seven major causes of death analyzed, and disparities widened for five of the seven. In 2017 urban areas had met national targets for three of the seven causes, while rural areas had met none of the targets.
  • Rural Counties with Majority Black or Indigenous Populations Suffer the Highest Rates of Premature Death in the U.S.
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2019
    Despite well-documented health disparities by rurality and race/ethnicity, research investigating racial/ethnic health differences among U.S. rural residents is limited. We used county-level data to measure and compare premature death rates in rural counties by each county's majority racial/ethnic group.
  • Community Health Worker Roles and Responsibilities in Rural and Urban America
    Policy Brief
    Southwest Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2019
    The primary aim of this study was to understand the evolving profession of community health workers (CHWs) in the U.S. Through focus groups in rural and urban regions of four states, we explored CHW roles and responsibilities, the growing professionalization of the field, and evolving interactions between CHWs and other care providers.
  • Social Determinants of Health Among Rural American Indian and Alaska Native Populations
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2019
    This policy brief is the third in a series of four policy briefs prepared by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center on the topic of social determinants of health. In this brief, we document current disparities within the rural American Indian and Alaska Native population.
  • Social Determinants of Health Among Rural Asian and Pacific Islander Populations
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2019
    This policy brief is the fourth in a series of four policy briefs prepared by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center on the topic of social determinants of health. In this brief, we document current disparities within the rural Asian and Pacific Islander population.
  • Social Determinants of Health Among the Rural African American Population
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2019
    This policy brief is the first in a series of four policy briefs prepared by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center on the topic of social determinants of health. It compares the distribution of social determinants among African American and White rural residents using information from the 2016 U.S. Census.
  • Social Determinants of Health Among the Rural Hispanic Population
    Policy Brief
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2019
    This policy brief is the second in a series of four policy briefs prepared by the Rural and Minority Health Research Center on the topic of social determinants of health. In this brief, we document current disparities within the rural Hispanic population. Gaps are larger for those who were born in the U.S. compared to those born outside the U.S.
  • Preventive Health Service Use Among Rural Women
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2019
    This study used the National Health Interview Survey to examine differences in receipt of preventive health services among rural and urban women. It found that rural women are less likely to receive HPV vaccines and mammograms, even controlling for rural-urban sociodemographic and resource differences.

2018

  • Rural-Urban Differences in Hospital Payer Mix in 2017
    Fact Sheet
    Rural and Minority Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2018
    This work revealed that rural hospitals heavily rely on Medicare.
  • Key Informant Perspectives on Rural Social Isolation and Loneliness
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2018
    This policy brief uses data from interviews with 22 key informants in 12 states, all of whom were experts on the issue of social isolation and/or rural health, to describe key challenges and opportunities related to rural social isolation.
  • Practical Implications: Opioid-Affected Births to Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2018
    This publication provides two physicians' reactions to research findings on rates of diagnosis of maternal opioid use disorder and infant neonatal abstinence syndrome at the time of childbirth for rural residents based on the type of hospital where the birth occurred.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Risk Factors for Motor Vehicle Fatalities
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2018
    This study uses 2017 County Health Rankings data to run stratified regression models to estimate county-level correlates of motor vehicle fatalities (MVFs) by rural and urban location. We found that rural counties have higher rates of MVFs than urban counties (22 vs. 14 per 100,000, p<0.001).
  • Gender Differences in Social Isolation and Social Support Among Rural Residents
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2018
    This policy brief uses identifies gender differences in social isolation and social support among older rural residents and provides ways to reduce social isolation in rural communities.
  • Non-Medical Opioid Use Among Rural and Urban Pregnant Women, 2007-2014
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2018
    This policy brief presents data on rural-urban differences in non-medical opioid use among pregnant women to inform policy, programmatic, and clinical efforts to address this crisis.
  • Addressing Commuting as a Public Health Issue: Strategies Should Differ by Rurality
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2018
    This policy brief estimates the rate of solo and long (greater than 30 minutes) solo car commutes by rurality and urban adjacency and identifies differences in factors that relate to commuting behavior.

2017

2015

  • Care Coordination in Rural Communities Supporting the High Performance Rural Health System
    Report
    RUPRI Health Panel: Rural Policy Analysis and Applications
    Date: 06/2015
    This paper examines care coordination programs and processes that affect rural areas to discover what is happening in rural communities, how various programs and approaches are working, who benefits, and to make policy recommendations that will facilitate care coordination efforts in support of high performance rural health system development.

2005

  • The Effects of Rural Residence and Other Social Vulnerabilities on Subjective Measures of Unmet Need
    North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center
    Date: 2005
    Are self-reports of unmet need a biased measure of access to healthcare? We examined the relationship between rural residence and perceived need for physician services and the likelihood of reporting a need for routine preventive care and/or specialty care using data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.