Health inequalities

Health inequalities are the result of a complex and wide-ranging set of factors. These include: material disadvantage, poor housing, low educational attainment, insecure employment and homelessness. People who experience 1 or more of these factors are more likely to have problems with their health. They are also likely to die earlier than average for the rest of the population.

High risk

People at high risk of poor oral health generally live in areas that are described as socially and economically disadvantaged. Local authorities (and other agencies) define disadvantaged areas in a variety of ways. An example is the government's Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 (IMD 2010). This combines economic, social and housing indicators to produce a single deprivation score. See 'Indices of English deprivation 2010' Department for Communities and Local Government (2011).

Parenting programmes

Parenting programmes teach parents and carers how to set effective boundaries and how to reward and praise children and young people in a way that promotes positive relationships and self-esteem. The aim is to improve children and young people's behaviour.

South Asian origin

The phrase 'of South Asian origin' refers to people with ancestral links to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.

Targeted approaches

Interventions that adopt a targeted approach may be distinct from, or an adaptation of, a universal approach. For example, an oral health home visiting service provided by a health visitor for all new parents may be adapted to meet the needs of young parents living in a disadvantaged area. The resulting service may offer longer visits and provide parents with more detail about other health services.

Wider social determinants of health

The wider social determinants of health encompass a range of social, economic, cultural and environmental factors known to be the main causes of poor health and inequalities between – and within – countries. They may include: unemployment, housing, unsafe workplaces, urban slums, globalisation and lack of access to healthcare.