The macro-economic determinants of health and health inequalities-umbrella review protocol

Yannish Naik*, Peter Baker, Ian Walker, Taavi Tillmann, Kristin Bash, Darryl Quantz, Frances Hillier-Brown, Clare Bambra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The economic determinants of health have been widely recognised as crucial factors affecting health; however, to date, no comprehensive review has been undertaken to summarise these factors and the ways in which they can influence health. We conceptualise the economy as a complex system made up of underlying approaches, regulation from institutions, markets, finance, labour, the public-private balance as well as production and distributional effects, which collectively impact on health through the effect of moderators. This protocol details the methods for an umbrella review to explore the macro-economic factors, strategies, policies and interventions that affect health outcomes and health inequalities. Methods: We will identify relevant systematic reviews using search terms derived from the Journal of Economic Literature classification. Reviews will be included if they meet the Database of Abstracts and Reviews of Effects criteria for systematic reviews. Reviews of studies with and without controls will be included; both association and intervention studies will be included. Primary outcomes will include but are not limited to morbidity, mortality, prevalence and incidence of conditions and life expectancy. Secondary outcomes will include health inequalities by gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Six databases will be searched using tailored versions of our piloted search strategy to locate relevant reviews. Data will be extracted using a standardized pro forma, and the findings will be synthesized into a conceptual framework to address our review aim. Discussion: Our umbrella review protocol provides a robust method to systematically appraise the evidence in this field, using new conceptual models derived specifically to address the study question. This will yield important information for policymakers, practitioners and researchers at the local, national and international level. It will also help set the future research agenda in this field and guide the development of interventions. Systematic review registration: This umbrella review protocol has been registered with PROSPERO CRD42017068357.

Original languageEnglish
Article number222
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Salaries were paid by respective employers. TT is funded by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship [106554/Z/14/Z]. CB is an associate director of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health. Funding for CB and Fuse comes from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and the funding is gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily represent those of the funders or UKCRC. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript. CB Fuse Grant reference MR/K02325X/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Distribution
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Labour
  • Market
  • Production
  • Public-private
  • Regulation
  • Socio-economic determinants
  • Trade


Dive into the research topics of 'The macro-economic determinants of health and health inequalities-umbrella review protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this