Friday, February 17, 2012

[EQ] The Public Health Observatory Handbook of Health Inequalities Measurement

Electronic Version:


Health Inequalities Intervention Toolkit



"…. It is designed to assist evidence-based local service planning and commissioning, including Joint Strategic Needs Assessments. The Toolkit does this by providing information on the diseases, which are causing low life expectancy in individual areas, enabling good local priority setting. …."

The Public Health Observatory Handbook of Health Inequalities Measurement

Roy Carr-Hill and Paul Chalmers-Dixon Centre for Health Economics - York University

Edited by Jennifer Lin

South East Public Health Observatory - SEPHO

Available online at:

"… provides a comprehensive collection of material for those concerned to document and understand health inequalities…."

"…….a welcome contribution to the resources available to people working to reduce inequalities in health in their communities. I commend it to anyone involved in addressing health inequalities. The measurement of inequalities is a complicated and convoluted science, but this book brings together much of that science in a rigorous but accessible way. It is a rich source of information and will contribute to advancing our knowledge and practice, with the ultimate aim to reduce inequalities and to make this country a more equitable society. …."  Sir Donald Acheson


Table of Contents



SECTION 1 Introduction

SECTION 2 Measuring Inequality by Social Categories

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Proposed Categories

2.3 Features of the Social Environment that Might Lead to Inequalities

SECTION 3 Measuring Inequality by Health and Disease Categories (Using Data from Administrative Sources)

3.1 Mortality Data

3.2 Morbidity Data from Health Service Activity Statistics, Disease Registers and Similar Official Sources

3.3 General Practice/Primary Care Data

3.4 Acute Sector Data

3.5 Community Health Sector Data

SECTION 4 Measuring Inequality by Health and Disease Categories (Using Data from Surveys)

4.1 Health and Lifestyle Surveys

4.2 Regular Health and Lifestyle Surveys

4.3 Health Status and Symptom Report Questionnaires

SECTION 5 An Introduction to the Use of Indexes to Measure Deprivation

5.1 Background

5.2 Selecting an Index of Deprivation

5.3 The Properties of Deprivation Indexes

5.4 Sources of Further Information – Reviews of Indexes and Their Properties

5.5 Conclusion and Summary of Key Issues Concerning Indexes of Deprivation

SECTION 6 A Selection of Indexes of Multiple Deprivation

6.1 Indexes from Census or Administrative Data?

6.2 Census-Based Indexes

6.3 Indexes with a Majority of Non-Census Components

6.4 Geo-Classification and Other Area Classification Systems

SECTION 7 Indexes: Properties and Problems

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Measuring Disability and Limiting Illness with Indicators and Indexes

7.3 Key Aspects of the Construction and Structure of Indexes

7.4 Testing an Index

7.5 The Purpose of Testing

7.6 Matching the Index to the Application – Example of an Index for Policy Use

7.7 Pitfalls and Problems of Using Indexes


SECTION 8 Data Sources: Availablity and Problems

8.1 Introduction

8.2 The Area Base

8.3 Major National Archives and Sources

8.4 Data Sources on Specific Topics


SECTION 9 Designing Surveys to Measure Inequality

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Surveys and Their Limitations

9.3 Assuming You Have Decided on a Survey

9.4 Different Types of Survey

SECTION 10 Inequalities and Methods of Measurement

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Context

10.3 Properties of Indexes and Measurements

10.4 Approaches to Summarising Inequality

10.5 Measuring Inequalities in Health Over Time

10.6 Summary and Conclusions: Choosing between the Measures

SECTION 11 Context, History and Theory

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Context

11.3 The Principal Theoretical Frameworks for Approaching Inequalities

11.4 Summary and Conclusions


Appendix to Section




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