Frontline Blog

Health and quality of life outcomes

May 2022

Girl peering through metal bike rack. Photo by Jairo Gonzalez on Unsplash.

The interplay between the drivers of inequity, structural tools, and social determinants of health ultimately influences a variety of health and quality-of-life outcomes across communities.

Cities: The Future of Health graphic: the two I's in "cities" are skyscrapers, the T is a tree, and there are icons walking and rolling a wheelchair under the tree.
This post is part of our Urban Health Agenda, BCHC’s vision for the future of health in big cities.

Below are some of the community health and quality-of-life outcomes[1] that result when we achieve more equitable structures and positive social determinants of health. In short, these are the ideals we are working toward:

Icon showing head with heart where brain would be

Physical and mental health, which includes being free of injury or illness, as well as coping with the stresses of everyday life.

icon showing briefcase and clock

Gainful employment and livable wages, which includes the extent to which people have jobs that provide living wages that allow them to meet their household’s needs and provide sufficiently for their families without working multiple jobs to simply make ends meet.

icon showing houses with bird flying overhead

Safe and stable housing and neighborhoods, including having housing that is free from health hazards and built in safe, walkable communities. Housing policies and housing instability can have a big impact on social connectedness, which is critical to the health of communities.

icon showing graduation cap

Educational achievement, which can include the quality of education and the rates at which high school and college students successfully graduate, as well job readiness training that matches economic opportunities.

icon showing full shopping cart

Access to affordable and high-quality goods and services, such as public transit and grocery stores. 

icon showing 3 hands raised and heart floating above them

Community connectedness, engagement, and participation, such as voting in elections, engaging in civic activities, or attending public meetings.

icon showing playground equipment

Community safety, which includes people living free from fear of, and harm from, violence, reflected in both data and in perceptions of safety, where families experience a predictable level of safety and both residents and others perceive the community to be safe.

[1] Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns.” QOL is connected to the concept “health-related quality of life,” which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “an individual’s or group’s perceived physical and mental health over time.” (WHOQOL – Measuring Quality of Life| The World Health Organization; HRQOL Concepts | CDC)