Federal Interagency Working Group Meets to Develop Research Agenda for Improving Measures to Assess Population Health

Workshop to develop a research agenda and research resources for health status assessment and summary health measures

The Interagency Working Group on Summary Measures of Health (IAWG) convened a workshop in March 2003 to develop a research agenda to further the development of measures used to assess the health status of the U.S. population.

According to its website, "The Interagency Working Group on Summary Measures was created in early 2000 in response to the need for improving the measurement of health and tracking the burden of disease…. Over the past several years, the IAWG has served as a forum within DHHS [Department of Health and Human Services] for sharing multi-agency perspectives on summary measures of health."

Key Results

  • The "Workshop to Develop a Research Agenda and Research Resources for Health Status Assessment and Summary Health Measures" was held March 26–28, 2003, in Alexandria, Va. Some 63 people, drawn from federal agencies and academic research centers, attended the meeting.

  • The proceedings of the workshop are available online.

  • The Interagency Working Group also created a Web page with links to other resources on population health status assessment and summary health measures.

  • "The meeting focused on the methodological and data source issues involved in developing summary measures of population health," according to Pamela Russo, PhD, the RWJF program officer. "It set out a research agenda for resolving some of these issues, which the participants thought was crucial before moving ahead with using summary measures as a tool to influence policy decisions."

  • Workshop participants met again to assess progress in the field during the National Center for Health Statistics Data Users Conference in Washington in July 2006. (Selected presentations are available online.)

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