University of Limerick
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Effectiveness of alternative approaches to integrating SDOH into medical education: a scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-14, 09:10 authored by NEHAL NOURNEHAL NOUR, David Stuckler, Oluwatobi Ajayi, Mohamed Elhassan Abdalla

Background There is increasing recognition of including social determinants of health (SDOH) in teaching for future  doctors. However, the educational methods and the extent of integration into the curriculum vary considerably—this  scoping review is aimed at how SDOH has been introduced into medical schools’ curricula. Methods A systematic search was performed of six electronic databases, including PubMed, Education Source,  Scopus, OVID (Medline), APA Psych Info, and ERIC. Articles were excluded if they did not cover the SDOH curriculum  for medical students; were based on service-learning rather than didactic content; were pilot courses, or were not in  English, leaving eight articles in the fnal study. Results The initial search yielded 654 articles after removing duplicates. In the frst screening step, 588 articles were  excluded after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria and quality assessment; we examined 66 articles, a total of  eight included in the study. There was considerable heterogeneity in the content, structure and duration of SDOH curricula. Of the eight included  studies, six were in the United States(U.S.), one in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and one in Israel. Four main conceptual  frameworks were invoked: the U.S. Healthy People 2020, two World Health Organisation frameworks (The Life Course  and the Michael Marmot’s Social Determinants of Health), and the National Academic of Science, Engineering, and  Medicine’s (Framework For educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health). In general, programs that lasted longer appeared to perform better than shorter-duration programmes. Students  favoured interactive, experiential-learning teaching methods over the traditional classroom-based teaching methods. Conclusion The incorporation of well-structured SDOH curricula capturing both local specifcation and a global  framework, combined with a combination of traditional and interactive teaching methods over extended periods,  may be helpful in steps for creating lifelong learners and socially accountable medical school education 



BMC Medical Education 23 (18)



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  • School of Medicine

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