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The First Pan-European Sociological Health Inequalities Survery of the General Population: The European Social Survey Rotating Module on the Social Determinants of Health

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare Bambra



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial, academically driven, cross-sectional, pan-Europeansocial survey that charts and explains the interactions between Europe’s changing institutions and theattitudes, beliefs, and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. As part of the seventh round ofthe ESS, we successfully developed a rotating module that provides a comprehensive and comparativepan-European data set on the social determinants of health and health inequalities. In this article,we present the rationale for the module, the health outcomes, and social determinants that wereincluded, and some of the opportunities that the module provide for advancing research into explainingthe distribution and aetiology of social inequalities in health in Europe. Thus far, no health surveyhas had sufficient data on the stratification system of societies, including rich data on living conditions,and there is no sociological survey with sufficient variety of lifestyle factors and health outcomes.By including unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, childhood conditions, housing conditions, workingconditions, and variables describing access to healthcare, together with an extensive set of mentaland physical health outcomes, the ESS has strengthened its position tremendously as a data sourcefor sociologists wanting to perform European cross-national analyses of health inequalities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eikemo TA, Bambra C, Huijts T, Fitzgerald R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Sociological Review

Year: 2017

Volume: 33

Issue: 1

Pages: 137-153

Print publication date: 01/02/2017

Online publication date: 16/05/2016

Acceptance date: 01/03/2016

Date deposited: 22/11/2016

ISSN (print): 0266-7215

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2672

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcw019

Notes: Paid for gold open access


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