Policy Sciences

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 71–89 | Cite as

Social indicators for health planning and policy analysis

  • Milton M. Chen
  • J. W. Bush
  • Donald L. Patrick


The concept of health involves two dimensions: The level of function at a point in time and the probability of transition to other levels at future times. By applying measured social values to the distribution of the population among a set of levels, a Function Status Index aptly summarizes the Level-of-Well-Being of a population at a point in time. By incorporating empirically determined transition probabilities into a simple stochastic model, a Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy can be computed that approximates a comprehensive social indicator for health. The indicators possess the statistical properties required for time series and interpopulation comparisons, for studying outcomes and quality of medical care, and for health system optimization in planning and policy analysis.


Time Series Health System Life Expectancy Medical Care Economic Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milton M. Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. W. Bush
    • 3
  • Donald L. Patrick
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Health Index ProjectUSA
  2. 2.Department of Quantitative MethodsSchool of Business, California State UniversityFullerton, Calif.USA
  3. 3.Health Index Project and Division of Health Policy and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA
  4. 4.Community Health Care Center in New HavenNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Department of Public HealthYale UniversityUSA
  6. 6.Health Index ProjectUSA

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