Future Directions for the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports
Table 4-2: Measures of Absolute and Relative Health Disparity
|Measures of Absolute Disparity|
|Rate Difference||Simple arithmetic difference between two groups (usually between the less-advantaged group and the more-advantaged group).|
|Between-Group Variance||The sum of squared deviations from a population average. The variance that would exist in the population if each individual had the average health of their social group.|
|Absolute Concentration Index||Measures the extent to which health or illness is concentrated among a particular group.|
|Slope Index of Inequality||Absolute difference in health status between the bottom and top of the social group distribution.|
|Measures of Relative Disparity|
|Rate Ratio||Measures the relative difference in the rates of the best and worst group.|
|Index of Disparity||Summarizes the difference between several group rates and a reference rate and expresses the summed differences as a proportion of the reference rate.|
|Relative Concentration Index||Measures the extent to which health or illness is concentrated among a particular group.|
|Relative Index of Inequality||Measures the proportionate rather than the absolute increase or decrease in health between the highest and lowest group.|
|Theil Index and Mean Log Deviation||Measures of disproportionality. Summaries of the difference between the natural logarithm of shares of health and shares of population.|
Note: Although this table is on measures of health disparities rather than health care disparities, the same concepts can be applied to measuring disparities in health care performance.
Source: Harper and Lynch, 2007.