Evaluating Equity Through the Social Determinants of Hearing Health

Marissa R. Schuh, Matthew L. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hearing loss in adults is a significant public health problem throughout the world. Undiagnosed and untreated hearing loss causes a measurable impact on health and social, occupational, and emotional well-being of those affected. In spite of a wide array of health care resources to identify and manage hearing loss, there exist vast disparities in outcomes, as well as access to and utilization of hearing healthcare. Hearing rehabilitation outcomes may vary widely among different populations and there is a pressing need to understand, in a broader sense, the factors that influence equitable outcomes, access, and utilization. These factors can be categorized according to the widely accepted framework of social determinants of health, which is defined by the World Health Organization as "the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age." According to Healthy People 2030, these determinants can be broken into the following domains: healthcare access and quality, education access and quality, social and community context, economic stability, and neighborhood and built environment. This article defines these domains and examines the published research and the gaps in research of each of these domains, as it pertains to hearing health and healthcare. Herein, we review foundational sources on the social determinants of health and hearing-related research focused on the topic. Further consideration is given to how these factors can be evaluated in a systematic fashion and be incorporated into translational research and hearing health care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15S-22S
JournalEar and Hearing
Issue numberSupplement 1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • Disparity
  • Equity
  • Hearing
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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