Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


The impact of the social determinants of health (SDH) on health outcomes is receiving increased attention. Health profession students need to learn about SDH; however, there are no validated tools to measure student competence in assessing SDH. There is a need for a brief, valid instrument to measure student competency and knowledge of SDH. This study is a secondary analysis of data collected pre (N=394) and post (N=387) for an interprofessional learning event. We utilized principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation to determine the internal structure of the tool. The original measure consisted of 11 items; the analysis resulted in two factors. Based on the two factors it was determined the three items from Factor 2 were not contributing to the scale; therefore, they were removed. The final measure, Assessing Student Competence & Knowledge of Social Determinants of Health (ASCK-SDH), consists of eight items rated on a 4-point Likert scale. The measure indicated high internal consistency at pre (Cronbach’s α= 0.81) and post (Cronbach’s α=0.89) tests. The ASCK-SDH tool provides a valid instrument to measure student competence and knowledge about SDH and can be used to assess learning.


Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG is Assistant Professor and Doctoral Capstone Coordinator at the University of South Dakota, Department of Occupational Therapy.

Moses Ikiugu, PhD, University of South Dakota, is Professor and Director of Research for the University of South Dakota Department of Occupational Therapy.

Leah M. Stade, OTD, OTR/L, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Allied Health Professions, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Division of Occupational Therapy Education.

Jana L. Wardian, PhD, MSW, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine.

Declaration of Interest

This manuscript has not been previously published and is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. None of the authors declare competing financial interests. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.