Inclusion health is an emergent approach that aims to address extreme health and social inequities. Target populations have common adverse life experiences and risk factors such as poverty and childhood trauma that lead to social exclusion. Consequently, these populations have extremely poor health, multiple morbidity, and early mortality. Compounding these problems are numerous barriers to accessing health services. The key aims of the inclusion health agenda are to highlight the magnitude and consequences of extreme inequity, the need for preventive and early intervention approaches, and improved access to essential services for individuals harmed by exclusion.
This review employs existing social exclusion, intersectionality, and life-course epidemiology perspectives, which examine how factors accumulate and intersect over time and affect health. Risk factors such as substance use, rough sleeping, imprisonment, and exchanging sex for money or drugs are known to overlap among populations that are socially excluded and lead to extremely poor health outcomes. This underscores the need to better understand what interventions can effectively address and prevent the multiple and complex needs of socially excluded populations as a whole, rather than focusing on subpopulations defined by singular risk factors. The review aims to provide an overview of which individual and structural interventions are effective to tackle the extreme health needs of inclusion health target populations.