|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
The National Health Planning and Resources Development Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-641) requires health systems agencies (HSAs) to assess the health status of their area populations but limits their data-collecting activity. Numerous measures of health status have been devised, but many of these require data that are not yet available or are available only on the national level. Proposed measures are reviewed, and the problems of applying them to the measurement of health status in small areas, under current technical and practical constraints, are discussed. Several measures have promise for giving reasonable results, but only with further development of data sources, estimation techniques, and social indicator models; under present constraints, HSAs will have to work with less precise and less useful methods.