This research theme develops 'equity-informative' methods of health services research and policy analysis that provide information about the health inequality impacts of organisations and policies.
Methods for monitoring the equity performance of local health systems and organisations that are used by the NHS and could be used in other countries.
Distributional cost-effectiveness analysis
Methods for analysing equity in the distribution of programme costs and effects alongside efficiency in terms of aggregate costs and effects.
The need for equity-informative research methods
The research methods used to inform health services and policy decision making tend to focus on effectiveness and efficiency rather than equity. Different sub-groups of the population experience different patterns of health risk and disease, exhibit different health behaviours, and live within different social and economic contexts. Consequently, well-intentioned policies that are effective and efficient on average can be better for the health of some sub-groups than others, inadvertently worsening health inequalities.
To strengthen the evidence base for tackling health inequalities, it is necessary to re-engineer existing methods of health services research and policy analysis.
Cookson, R., Skarda, I., Robson, M., & Doran, T. (n.d.). Equity-informative methods of health services research (PDF , 599kb). Journal of Health Organization and Management
Doran T, Cookson R. Re-engineering health policy research to measure equity impacts. In: Evans J, Ruane S, Southall H. Data in Society: Challenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2019.