Carr-Hill Cover

The Public Health Observatory Handbook of Health Inequalities Measurement

Roy Carr-Hill and Paul Chalmers-Dixon

Edited by Jennifer Lin

This new SEPHO handbook primarily focuses on the measurement and interpretation of health inequalities. Written by Roy Carr-Hill and Paul Chalmers-Dixon of York University, it provides a comprehensive collection of material for those concerned to document and understand health inequalities.

This handbook has been published as an electronic edition. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader (available free) to read the electronic edition. The full electronic version can be downloaded from the SEPHO web site or the individual chapters are available below.

Full electronic version | Electronic version by chapters



Table of Contents

(Links will open in new window or you can right-click to download the file.)

Front cover
Title page
Table of Contents (full ToC including ToC for Tables)
Acknowledgements & Feedback

SECTION 1 Introduction
1.1 Inequality and its Measurement
1.2 This Handbook
1.3 Core Issues Addressed by the Handbook
1.4 Structure of This Handbook

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
7.8 Conclusions

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
9.5 Summary

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 9