Black-White Differences in Health Status: Methods or Substance?

January 1987 | Ronald M. Andersen, Ross M. Mullner, Llewellyn J. Cornelius

Policy questions of black-white equity in health status and resource allocation are most often framed in terms of measured differences between the two population groups. But assessment of these differences must take account of the considerable inherent inconsistencies and ambiguities of sampling, coverage, non-response, and observational bias. The methods by which health status is measured-indeed, the very measures chosen-often tend to underestimate the problems experienced by the black population. By the most objective measures, black-white differences appear to be real; by more subjective measures, and among children, black deficits are less marked.

Author(s): Ronald M. Andersen; Ross M. Mullner; Llewellyn J. Cornelius

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Volume 65, Issue S1 (pages 72–99)
Published in 1987