IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Socio-economic and demographic variation in health and in its measures: the issue of reporting heterogeneity

Listed author(s):
  • Shmueli, Amir
Registered author(s):

    True health state is an unobservable concept. Researchers and practitioners now have access to a large variety of tools to measure the health state and health related quality of life by self-reports. Socio-demographic variation in these measures is usually interpreted as variation in health. However, building on several measures simultaneously (multiple indicators), true health might be better represented, so that socio-demographic variation in any indicator can be decomposed into variation in the estimated true health, and measure-specific variation, holding true health constant. The latter variation is referred to as "reporting heterogeneity". Using structural equations models, the paper provides an empirical assessment of reporting heterogeneity in three popular measures of health and health related quality of life: the number of chronic conditions (CHRON), the SF-36 instrument and the visual analogue rating scale. Considering a large array of socio-economic and demographic characteristics from an Israeli health survey, the results indicate the existence of age-related reporting heterogeneity in the CHRON; income-related heterogeneity in the rating scale measure; and age, sex, income, ethnic origin and religiosity-related reporting heterogeneity in the SF-36 tool, in particular in its mental component scale. The main implication of reporting heterogeneity on the common uses of self-reported health measures is the need to adjust the measures not only for the determinants of health but also for the determinants of reporting heterogeneity.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 57 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 125-134

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:1:p:125-134
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:1:p:125-134. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.