Research Report How Should We Measure and Interpret Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care?
Lisa Clemans-Cope, Bowen Garrett, Stacey McMorrow
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Efforts to eliminate racial disparities in health and health care are a critical national priority, and quantifying and interpreting measures of these disparities are important but challenging parts of that effort. This paper offers five recommendations for producing and interpreting estimates of racial and ethnic disparities in health care. To illustrate these recommendations, we provide several empirical examples to demonstrate some of the ways in which disparity estimates and interpretation can vary with different definitions and estimation methods, affirming the importance of motivating methodological choices with an explicit definition, research question, and comprehensive conceptual framework.

Research Areas Health and health care Race and equity
Tags Health equity Racial and ethnic disparities Structural racism in research, data, and technology
Policy Centers Health Policy Center
Research Methods Data analysis Quantitative data analysis Research methods and data analytics