Measuring Health Disparities

URL 1:

Date Developed: 1/1/2017. Source: Michigan Public Health Training Center. Presenter(s): n.a.. Type: Online Course. Level: Intermediate. Length: Self-paced.


This interactive course focuses on some basic issues for public health practice -- how to understand, define and measure health disparity. This course examines the language of health disparity to come to some common understanding of what that term means, explains key measures of health disparity and shows how to calculate them.

This course was originally released in 2005. Given its success as a foundational course, updates were made in 2017 for this new, web-based version.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the first content section (which includes Part I What are Health Disparities? and Part II Issues in Measuring Health Disparities), you will be able to:

• Identify the dimensions of health disparity as described in Healthy People 2020

• List three definitions of health disparity.

• Interpret health disparity in graphical representations of data.

• Explain relative and absolute disparity.

• Describe how reference groups can affect disparity measurement.

By the end of the second content section (which includes Part III Measures of Health Disparities and Part IV Analytic Steps in Measuring Health Disparity), you will be able to:

• Describe at least three complex measures of health disparities.

• List strengths and weaknesses of at least three health disparity measures.

•Summarize the analytic steps in measuring health disparity.

Special Instructions

To access this course, you first need to create an account

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.