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Measuring intermediary determinants of early childhood health : a composite index comparing colombian departments
Authors: Ana María Rubia Osorio, Catalina Bolancé, and Manuela Alcañiz
Source: Child Indicators Research, 6(2), 297-319; DOI: 10.1007/s12187-012-9172-4
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: OCT 2012
Abstract: In recent years there has been growing interest in composite indicators as an efficient tool of analysis and a method of prioritizing policies. This paper presents a composite index of intermediary determinants of child health using a multivariate statistical approach. The index shows how specific determinants of child health vary across Colombian departments (administrative subdivisions). We used data collected from the 2010 Colombian Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for 32 departments and the capital city, Bogotá. Adapting the conceptual framework of Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), five dimensions related to child health are represented in the index: material circumstances, behavioural factors, psychosocial factors, biological factors and the health system. In order to generate the weight of the variables, and taking into account the discrete nature of the data, principal component analysis (PCA) using polychoric correlations was employed in constructing the index. From this method five principal components were selected. The index was estimated using a weighted average of the retained components. A hierarchical cluster analysis was also carried out. The results show that the biggest differences in intermediary determinants of child health are associated with health care before and during delivery. According to child health conditions, the departments grouped differently when com-pared to the traditional classification by Colombian geographical regions.