Conceptualizing the Social, Economic, and Cultural Issues Underlying Health Care Outcomes

Award Year:
Thomas Croghan, Bernice Pescosolido
Performance and Outcome Measurement
This project conceptualizes the social, economic, and cultural factors that may influence health outcomes; addresses the impact they have on instruments used to measure outcomes; and assesses whether and how much these issues matter. Drs. Croghan and Pescosolido propose that meaningful health system performance measures may be affected by life circumstances, shaping how and why people enter the medical care system, what they expect and want from treatment, and what is fundamentally important in their daily lives. The project: 1) identifies challenges facing outcomes research and policy; 2) reviews the relevant social and behavioral science literature, including methodological research, to integrate social, economic and cultural insight with outcomes research; 3) develops a theoretical framework based on previous research and analyses; 4) uses existing data to explore the challenges and utility of social and behavioral concepts to address them; and 5) provides recommendations for outcome measures.