Social Determinants, Health Equity and Human Development

Measurements and Indicators: Definitions, Concepts and Examples

Author(s): Abdesslam Boutayeb and Saber Boutayeb

Pp: 1-11 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805066610901010001

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The importance of equity in health necessitates concise definitions of concepts and tools used either to describe the distribution of ill-health as a phenomenon in time and space, or to understand the causes underlying unfair and avoidable inequalities in order to act on them. Consequently, the measures of health inequalities depend on the approach adopted to distinguish different groups of a population (by sex, socioeconomic status, education level, residence area, income, ethnic groups, …), the health variable to be described (mortality, morbidity, expectancy, quality of life, nutrition, access to services, …), and the methods and tools for description and analysis (absolute numbers, relative differences, odd ratios, concentration index, regression, component analysis, discriminant analysis, …). This first chapter is dedicated to the main concepts and indicators related to health measurements. Illustrative examples are given and clarifications are provided through remarks and discussions.

Keywords: Measurements, indicators, communicable diseases, human development, mortality, cost-benefit.

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