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Health Serv Res. 1994 Apr;29(1):1-16.

Beyond dummy variables and sample selection: what health services researchers ought to know about race as a variable.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This article addresses the definitional and methodological problems associated with the most common uses of race as a variable in health research.

PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Although often used in health services research, race is a poorly understood concept because it lacks conceptual clarity. Moreover, the measurement problems with race have not yet been adequately addressed. As a result, many quantitative models that attempt to explain race differences are inadequate to inform health or social policy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Researchers should treat the race variable with the same degree of caution and skepticism with which it treats any other variable.

PMID:
8163376
PMCID:
PMC1069985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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