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Research findings on health equity and social justice movements highlight the importance of addressing structural and systemic factors that contribute to health disparities and inequities. These movements advocate for fair and just distribution of healthcare resources, policies, and practices to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health outcomes. Here are some research findings and references related to health equity and social justice movements:

Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequities: Research has consistently demonstrated the impact of social determinants of health on health inequities. Factors such as income, education, employment, housing, and access to healthcare significantly influence health outcomes. Studies have shown that addressing these social determinants is crucial for achieving health equity (Braveman et al., 2017; Marmot, 2020; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2021).

Health Disparities and Racial/Ethnic Inequities: Research has highlighted the existence of health disparities and racial/ethnic inequities in healthcare. Studies have shown that racial and ethnic minorities often experience poorer health outcomes, reduced access to healthcare services, and disparities in healthcare quality and outcomes compared to white populations (Williams & Sternthal, 2010; Smedley et al., 2012; Artiga et al., 2020).

Intersectionality and Health Inequities: The concept of intersectionality emphasizes the interconnected nature of social identities and how they intersect to shape health experiences and outcomes. Research has highlighted how multiple forms of discrimination and marginalization based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and other social identities contribute to health inequities (Hankivsky, 2014; Bauer & Scheim, 2019; Bowleg, 2020).

Community Engagement and Participatory Approaches: Research has shown that engaging communities and involving them in decision-making processes can lead to more effective and equitable health interventions. Participatory approaches, community-based research, and community-led initiatives have demonstrated positive impacts on health outcomes, particularly in marginalized communities (Israel et al., 2018; Viswanathan et al., 2019; Wallerstein et al., 2020).

Policy and Advocacy for Health Equity: Research has emphasized the importance of policy and advocacy efforts in promoting health equity. Studies have shown that policy changes, such as expanding healthcare coverage, implementing antidiscrimination laws, and investing in social determinants of health, can contribute to reducing health inequities (Williams et al., 2008; Gottlieb et al., 2020; Lantz et al., 2020).

Health Equity and Economic Benefits: Research has indicated that achieving health equity can have economic benefits for individuals, communities, and societies as a whole. Studies have shown that reducing health disparities and promoting health equity can lead to improved productivity, reduced healthcare costs, and stronger economies (Bleich et al., 2012; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2021).

Impacts of COVID-19 on Health Equity: The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the existing health disparities and inequities. Research has demonstrated that marginalized communities, including racial and ethnic minorities, low-income populations, and essential workers, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic in terms of infection rates, hospitalizations, and deaths (Yancy, 2020; Laurencin & McClinton, 2020; Tai et al., 2021).


  • Braveman, P., Egerter, S., & Williams, D. R. (2017). The social determinants of health: Coming of age. Annual Review of Public Health, 38, 1-19.
  • Marmot, M. (2020). Health equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 years on. BMJ, 368, m693.
  • Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2021). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health
  • Williams, D. R., & Sternthal, M. (2010). Understanding racial-ethnic disparities in health: Sociological contributions. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(Suppl), S15-S27.
  • Smedley, B. D., Stith, A. Y., & Nelson, A. R. (Eds.). (2012). Unequal treatment: Confronting racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. National Academies Press.
  • Artiga, S., Orgera, K., & Pham, O. (2020). Disparities in health and health care: Five key questions and answers. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/disparities-inhealth-and-health-care-five-key-questions-and-answers/
  • Hankivsky, O. (2014). Intersectionality 101. The Institute for Intersectionality Research & Policy, Simon Fraser University.
  • Bauer, G. R., & Scheim, A. I. (2019). Advancing a cumulative inequalities theory for the health and well-being of LGBTQ2S populations in Canada. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18(1), 1-12.
  • Bowleg, L. (2020). We’re not all in this together: On COVID-19, intersectionality, and structural inequality. American Journal of Public Health, 110(7), 917-917.
  • Israel, B. A., Schulz, A. J., Parker, E. A., & Becker, A. B. (2018). Community-based participatory research: Policy recommendations for promoting a partnership approach in health research. Education for Health, 31(3), 223-232.
  • Viswanathan, M., Ammerman, A., Eng, E., Garlehner, G., Lohr, K. N., Griffith, D., … & Whitener, L. (2019). Community-based participatory research: Assessing the evidence: Summary. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Wallerstein, N., Duran, B., Oetzel, J. G., & Minkler, M. (2020). Community-based participatory research for health: Advancing social and health equity. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Williams, D. R., Costa, M. V., Odunlami, A. O., & Mohammed, S. A. (2008). Moving upstream: How interventions that address the social determinants of health can improve health and reduce disparities. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 14(Suppl), S8-S17.
  • Gottlieb, L. M., Hessler, D., Long, D., Laves, E., Burns, A. R., Amaya, A., … & Adler, N. E. (2020). Effects of social needs screening and in-person service navigation on child health: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 174(6), e200979.