Module 2: Evidence-Based and Promising Approaches for Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Rural
Rural communities are implementing programs to address social determinants of health (SDOH) in an effort to
improve their residents' health and well-being. This toolkit identifies models and approaches for addressing
SDOH in rural communities. SDOH are complex and may differ from place to place. No single approach is right for
every community. Many communities will need to implement multiple models to address SDOH, as well as adapt these
models to fit their unique culture and needs.
To learn how to implement and adapt rural community health programs, see Developing a Rural Community Health Program in the
Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Promising approaches and models for addressing SDOH may target specific social determinants, such as food
access, housing, the built environment, and healthcare access, among others. In addition, some programs may
address several SDOH at once. These approaches and models often include cross-sectoral partnerships and
collaboration, community- and capacity-building, a focus on reducing health disparities, and strategies that are
tailored to population characteristics and demographics.
This module identifies 22 evidence-based or promising approaches for addressing SDOH, organized into 5
categories based on the Healthy
People 2020 SDOH organizing framework. Within each key area, we describe promising approaches and
evidence-based models being implemented in rural
communities. These 5 areas are interdisciplinary, cutting across multiple sectors; therefore, some approaches
may cross multiple areas. For example, promising approaches that focus on improving economic stability may also
improve the social and community context for rural residents.
In this module: