IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Revealing mental health status in Iran's capital: Putting equity and efficiency together


  • Morasae, Esmaeil Khedmati
  • Forouzan, Ameneh Setareh
  • Asadi-Lari, Mohsen
  • Majdzadeh, Reza


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Morasae, Esmaeil Khedmati & Forouzan, Ameneh Setareh & Asadi-Lari, Mohsen & Majdzadeh, Reza, 2012. "Revealing mental health status in Iran's capital: Putting equity and efficiency together," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 531-537.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:3:p:531-537
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.003

    Download full text from publisher

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

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:1:82-88_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wagstaff, Adam, 2002. "Inequality aversion, health inequalities and health achievement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 627-641, July.
    4. Xu, Ke Tom, 2006. "State-level variations in income-related inequality in health and health achievement in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 457-464, July.
    5. Patel, Vikram & Araya, Ricardo & de Lima, Mauricio & Ludermir, Ana & Todd, Charles, 1999. "Women, poverty and common mental disorders in four restructuring societies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(11), pages 1461-1471, December.
    6. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896.
    7. Joan Costa-Font & Joan Gil, 2008. "Would Socio-Economic Inequalities in Depression Fade Away with Income Transfers?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 539-558, December.
    8. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    9. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jones, Andrew M. & López-Nicolás, Angel & Rice, Nigel, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: A comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1246-1261, September.
    10. Wildman, John, 2003. "Income related inequalities in mental health in Great Britain: analysing the causes of health inequality over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 295-312, March.
    11. Harpham, Trudy, 1994. "Urbanization and mental health in developing countries: A research role for social scientists, public health professionals and social psychiatrists," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-245, July.
    12. Almeida-Filho, Naomar & Lessa, Ines & Magalhães, Lucélia & Araújo, Maria Jenny & Aquino, Estela & James, Sherman A. & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2004. "Social inequality and depressive disorders in Bahia, Brazil: interactions of gender, ethnicity, and social class," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1339-1353, October.
    13. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:3:p:531-537. 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). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.