Authors: M.A. Beenackers, F.J. van Lenthe, J. Oude Groeniger, W.J. Nusselder, J.P. Mackenbach and the HE2020 project partners

As described in Phase 3 on choosing actions, there are three main mechanisms that can be distinguished through which socioeconomic health inequalities can be reduced:

  1. Reducing the inequalities in socioeconomic position itself, such as education, income, or wealth.
  2. Reducing the negative effect of a low socioeconomic position on health by improving determinants of health that are more prevalent among lower compared to higher socioeconomic groups, including:
    1. living and working conditions
    2. health behaviours
    3. accessibility to and quality of health care and preventive services
  3. Reducing the negative social and economic effects of ill health, such as school drop-out, lost job opportunities and reduced income.

The Health Equity 2020 Action Database contains a range of policies, interventions and programmes that aim to reduce socioeconomic health inequalities. Both effective actions (evidence level A or B, see Box 15 in the Phase 3 tool) and good practices (evidence level C or D, see Box 15 in the Phase 3 tool) are included.

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