Chapter

Defining Health Statistics and Their Scope

R. Gibson Parrish II, Daniel J. Friedman and Edward L. Hunter

in Health Statistics

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195149289
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149289.003.0001
Defining Health Statistics and Their Scope

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This chapter provides a definition of health statistics, the purpose of health statistics, and an overview of their many uses. It describes the broad scope of health statistics and a model of population health to guide the health statistics enterprise in its goal of providing comprehensive, coherent, and useful data with which populations can create fundamental knowledge, guide their health policies, and implement and refine their health programs and other interventions to improve health. The model has three components: (1) the context or broad setting in which the population exists and acts; (2) factors acting at the community or individual level; and (3) measures of a population's health. The model positions a population's health as the central outcome variable. The health of a population is described by measures of disease, functional status, and well-being that reflect both the level and distribution of health in the population.

Keywords: health policies; population health; public health; health programs; measures of disease

Chapter.  6154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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