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Multi-dimensional health indices in India: A review of literature
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  • Meena Seghal,
  • Santosh Jatrana,
  • Louise Johnson,
  • Ritu Mathur
Meena Seghal
Deakin University School of Humanities and Social Sciences

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Santosh Jatrana
James Cook University Centre for Rural and Remote Health
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Louise Johnson
Deakin University School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Ritu Mathur
TERI School of Advanced Studies
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The composite indices have been widely used in different fields and different settings to measure and quantify a variety of multidimensional and complex concepts into a single construct. While many composite health indices are produced and applied in developed countries, there are relatively few studies for developing countries, and even considerably less in Asia. However, the indicators of health relevant in high-income countries will not be suitable for use in developing countries such as India due to differences in health system characteristics, differences in disease patterns, and data availability and quality. Therefore, it is important to consider the specific context and characteristics of a country when developing a composite health index to ensure its relevance and usefulness for policy and decision-making. In this paper, we review published studies on the multidimensional composite health indices in India, specifically focussing on the purpose of the index, the indicators chosen to represent population health, methods used in the calculation of the indices, geographical level of aggregation, sources of data, the application and validation of index. While doing so, we also assessed the policy or practical relevance of such indices.