Revealing mental health status in Iran's capital: Putting equity and efficiency together
Information about urban health is often based on averages, while to better understand health status in urban areas, inequality should also be included. In this paper, we applied an achievement index approach in order to surmount this defect and to examine mental health status in Iran's capital, Tehran. The data we required for this study were taken from the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART) survey which was conducted in Tehran in 2007, covering people aged 15 and above. The concentration index, which is a commonly used measure of socioeconomic inequalities in health, was extended to enable the combination of inequality and averages and the formation of a mental health achievement index. Values from the standard concentration indices showed that mental disorders are concentrated disproportionately among the poor in Tehran. An extension of the standard concentration indices revealed that, in most of Tehran's districts, the mental health of populations in the poorest quintile is much worse than that of other groups. In addition, when we computed the achievement index and ranked districts according to this index, the ranking was different from the ranking by averages. These findings imply that mental health varies significantly across the economic groups of the population in Tehran and that efficiency-oriented strategies which target average level of mental health alone are not sufficient to improve mental health of all people especially mental health of the poor. Equity-oriented strategies which target the mental health inequalities should be considered as well.
Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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