Can evidence drive health equity in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond?

Katy Bell, Sam White, Abbey Diaz, Priya Bahria, Fiona Sima, Wael K. Al-Delaimy, Susan DosReis, Omar Hassan, Dorothy Drabarek, Monjura Nisha, Kesha Baptiste-Roberts, Katy Gwiazdon, Camille Raynes-Greenow, Robin Taylor Wilson, James A. Gaudino, Rafael da Silveira Moreira, Bruce Jennings, Pauline Gulliver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Using scoping review methods, we systematically searched multiple online databases for publications in the first year of the pandemic that proposed pragmatic population or health system-level solutions to health inequities. We found 77 publications with proposed solutions to pandemic-related health inequities. Most were commentaries, letters, or editorials from the USA, offering untested solutions, and no robust evidence on effectiveness. Some of the proposed solutions could unintentionally exacerbate health inequities. We call on health policymakers to co-create, co-design, and co-produce equity-focussed, evidence-based interventions with communities, focussing on those most at risk to protect the population as a whole. Epidemiologists collaborating with people from other relevant disciplines may provide methodological expertise for these processes. As epidemiologists, we must interrogate our own methods to avoid propagating any unscientific biases we may hold. Epidemiology must be used to address, and never exacerbate, health inequities—in the pandemic and beyond.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
Early online dateJan 12 2024
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Health equity
  • Heath policy
  • Social determinants of health
  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Health Equity


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