Region V Public Health Training Center

Measuring Health Disparities

This is an all levels course offering CHES, CNE, and CPH — Free
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Time to Start

< 3 minutes


3.00 hours


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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. 

The course is designed to be accessible to a broad audience of practitioners across all sectors of the public health and related workforce who are concerned about the issue of health disparity. Parts III and IV are more technical; although not required, it is helpful to have a background in statistics, epidemiology, or other related sciences for ease of understanding these sections.

What You'll Learn

By the end of the first content section ( Part I What are Health Disparities? and Part II Issues in Measuring Health Disparities)

  • 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)

  • 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

This learning opportunity topic is aligned with one or more of the strategic skills.

Related Occupations

Health Officer
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit

Related Job Tasks

Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems
Conduct community assessments
Develop surveillance procedures
Plan public health programs
Manage public health programs