Which deprivation? A comparison of selected deprivation indexes

J Public Health Med. 1991 Nov;13(4):318-26.


A number of indexes of deprivation which have been devised or adopted for use by the health services are examined in relation to their performance in explaining the variation observed in a range of health measures, using data for postcode sectors in Scotland. The Scottish deprivation score and the Townsend index are found to explain most variation, and to adhere most closely to the concept of material disadvantage. The Jarman score is less effective as a result of the inclusion of individual variables which are seen to correlate very weakly, even negatively, with the health indicators. The use of these measures in relation to resource allocation and the new GP contract is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Cultural Deprivation*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Mortality
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*