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Multi-Criteria Assessment of County Public Health Capability Disparities.

JHHSA, Vol. 32 No. 3, (2009)

Objective: This paper proposes an analytical approach to the assessment of geographic population health disparities that are measured as the consolidation of public health related indicators into geographic-specific scores, and are representative of the level of public health capability within counties in the state of Mississippi.

Study Design: A multi-criteria decision model was employed to develop an additive scoring system that assigns a numerical score of public health capability disparities for a geographical area (county).

Methods: Routinely collected indicators were used to measure each county’s current public health related concerns. These indicators include access, risks, health care quality, and outcomes data. Public health experts rated and ranked indicators to generate indicator weight.

Results: A county score was developed to rank Mississippi counties based on relative public health capability. This scoring system depicts population health disparities among Mississippi counties.

Conclusions: The model is useful and ideal for establishing expectations and benchmarks for reduction or equalization of disparities. This information can be used to manage geographic population health disparities by guiding policy formulation and implementation.

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