Social Determinants of Health and Educating Patients to Make Informed Decisions

Respond by proposing a resource or strategy you might recommend to address a social determinant of health that may affect the patient factors described by your colleague. Explain how the resources or strategies could be used to educate patients to make informed decisions.

Danny Rivera was the patient chosen in Shadow Health (n.d). Danny was an eight-year-old Hispanic male presenting with a cough beginning five days prior. A focused assessment was performed, and it was discovered that Danny has swollen tonsils and right ear pain consistent with a possible ear infection. Danny reveals that his father smokes cigars inside the home which is a social determinant that could be a possible cause of his cough. The smoke could be affecting his lung function. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes multiple health problems in infants and young children, including: ear infections, respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath), acute lower respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia Another social determinant that could be affecting the health of Danny could be that he has a familial history of asthma. According to Bottrell (2016), asthma is believed to be genetically related. These determinants are not possibly the exact reason for his cough but it could be a secondary cause.


Bottrell, J. (2016). Genetics and Asthma: A Brief Summary. Retrieved from

Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts. Retrieved from

Shadow Health. (n.d). Focused Exam: Cough (Required). Retrieved from