Commentary: Long-Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities in Scotland—A Response to Frank and Haw

Frank and Haw (2011) devised a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate the utility of frameworks for monitoring health inequalities. They argued that a high-quality monitoring framework should ensure the completeness and accuracy of reporting, that the measures used should be reversible and sensitive to intervention, that the measure should be statistically appropriate, and that there should be no reverse causation between the proposed outcome measures and the markers of socioeconomic status. They applied these to the Scottish Government’s long-term monitoring framework for health inequalities (Scottish Government 2011) to highlight the potential pitfalls for policymakers. While we welcome their description of the Scottish Government’s measures as “state of the art” and recognize that there is always room for improvement, we disagree with some aspects of their appraisal of the Scottish monitoring framework, as well as the criteria they proposed. We contend that their application of these criteria to the Scottish example reveals some of the limitations of their approach.

Author(s): Gerry McCartney, Alastair H. Leyland, Colin M. Fischbacher, Bruce Whyte, David Walsh, and Diane L. Stockton

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Volume 91, Issue 1 (pages 186–191)
DOI: 10.1111/milq.12006
Published in 2013