BMC Public Health (Accessed 16 May 2015)

BMC Public Health
(Accessed 16 May 2015)
Research article
Motives of Dutch persons aged 50 years and older to accept vaccination: a qualitative study
Renske Eilers, Paul Krabbe, Hester de Melker BMC Public Health 2015, 15:493 (16 May 2015)
Urban health indicators and indices: current status
Richard Rothenberg1*, Christine Stauber1, Scott Weaver1, Dajun Dai2, Amit Prasad3 and Megumi Kano3
Author Affiliations
BMC Public Health 2015, 15:494 doi:10.1186/s12889-015-1827-x
Published: 16 May 2015
Abstract (provisional)
Though numbers alone may be insufficient to capture the nuances of population health, they provide a common language of appraisal and furnish clear evidence of disparities and inequalities. Over the past 30 years, facilitated by high speed computing and electronics, considerable investment has been made in the collection and analysis of urban health indicators, environmental indicators, and methods for their amalgamation. Much of this work has been characterized by a perceived need for a standard set of indicators. We used publication databases (e.g. Medline) and web searches to identify compilations of health indicators and health metrics. We found 14 long-term large-area compilations of health indicators and determinants and seven compilations of environmental health indicators, comprising hundreds of metrics. Despite the plethora of indicators, these compilations have striking similarities in the domains from which the indicators are drawn—an unappreciated concordance among the major collections. Research with these databases and other sources has produced a small number of composite indices, and a number of methods for the amalgamation of indicators and the demonstration of disparities. These indices have been primarily used for large-area (nation, region, state) comparisons, with both developing and developed countries, often for purposes of ranking. Small area indices have been less explored, in part perhaps because of the vagaries of data availability, and because idiosyncratic local conditions require flexible approaches as opposed to a fixed format. One result has been advances in the ability to compare large areas, but with a concomitant deficiency in tools for public health workers to assess the status of local health and health disparities. Large area assessments are important, but the need for small area action requires a greater focus on local information and analysis, emphasizing method over prespecified content.