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Measuring ‘avoidable’ mortality: methodological note

Kossarova, Lucia, Holland, Walter, Nolte, Ellen and McKee, Martin (2009) Measuring ‘avoidable’ mortality: methodological note. . Directorate-General “Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities”, Brussels, Belgium.

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‘Avoidable’ mortality has been proposed as a measure of performance of the health system and as a measure of quality of health care service delivery. Several researchers have updated the concept, defining ‘avoidable’ mortality as deaths from causes that should not occur in the presence of timely and effective interventions. This offers a means of understanding the effectiveness of health systems in maintaining and improving population health. This indicator can be disaggregated into treatable and preventable mortality providing policy relevant information on the performance or quality of the health care system in detecting and treating selected conditions, and the success of broader health policy in preventing disease and promoting health. This methodological note reviews the existing evidence and elaborates the definition and construction of the ‘avoidable’ mortality indicator (e.g. selection of causes of death and age limits) as set out in the literature, including a summary of the available empirical evidence. While the concept of ‘avoidable’ mortality has advantages, it also has some the limitations that will be discussed further. In particular, there are challenges in undertaking cross-country comparisons. The benefits of this approach will be considered together with the methodological challenges involved.

Item Type: Monograph (Report)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 European Commission
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2012 13:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:14

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