Measurements and Indicators: Definitions, Concepts and Examples
Pp. 1-11 (11)
Abdesslam Boutayeb and Saber Boutayeb
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.
Measurements, indicators, communicable diseases, human development, mortality, cost-benefit.
Department of Mathematics Faculty of Sciences, Boulevard Mohamed VI, BP: 717 Oujda, Morocco.