Chapter

Measuring Disparities in Health: Methods and Indicators

SUDHIR ANAND, FINN DIDERICHSEN, TIMOTHY EVANS, VLADIMIR M. SHKOLNIKOV and MEG WIRTH

in Challenging Inequities in Health

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137408
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863983 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137408.003.0005
Measuring Disparities in Health: Methods and Indicators

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This chapter explores critical issues related to the measurement of health equity. It notes that without reliable data on disparities in health, policy makers and populations are less equipped to demand change and monitor progress. The chapter provides a comprehensive approach to the measurement of inequity. It outlines five basic considerations in the choice of health measures, highlighting the ways that assumptions can affect the magnitude and assessment of a given health disparity. A range of measures—new and old, simple and complex—for assessing intergroup and interindividual inequalities in health are reviewed. It outlines methods of measurement and suggests indicators for making assessments in both data-poor and data-rich countries.

Keywords: measurement; indicators; disparities in health; policy makers; inequality

Chapter.  11630 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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