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About the Social Determinants of Health Collections

PhenX Measures for Social Determinants of Health Collections

In 2018, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) launched the PhenX Measures for Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Project with the goal of making it easier for investigators to compare results and to combine data from different studies. As a result of this project, 19 new protocols relevant to SDOH were selected by the PhenX SDOH Working Group. NIMHD in collaboration with the NIH SDOH Working Group included these 19 new protocols as they developed a Core SDOH collection and two Specialty collections.

Core Collection

The Core collection includes 17 measurement protocols that are deemed relevant for all research project for collection of comparable data on social determinants of health across studies. These measures are designed to create a common currency for cross-study analyses that compare or combine data from different studies. The Core collection includes some protocols that were identified by the SDOH Working Group and some that were already in the PhenX Toolkit. The Core collection includes Race/Ethnicity, Age, Gender Identity, and Annual Family Income, as well as English Proficiency, Occupational Prestige and Access to Health Services.

Specialty Collections

In addition, the SDOH measurement protocols have been organized into two Specialty collections: Individual SDOH and Structural SDOH. These two Specialty collections are complementary to the Core collection and will allow more nuanced investigations of how SDOH influences health. The Individual SDOH Specialty collection includes measurement protocols for use in research where information is being collected from and about people answering for themselves or their family. The Structural SDOH Specialty collection includes measurement protocols at the structural or community level.