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This article reviews the role of health status measures in the assessment of medical care. It is argued that such measures are of only limited value in assessing the performance of health care professionals and institutions because of confounding factors, problems of data collection and the play of chance. Nevertheless, health status measures should be incorporated as outcome measures into clinical trials since they can provide information on how individuals and institutions can improve performance and give health policy makers information about the effectiveness of interventions. It is concluded that the development of simpler measures of performance would be more practical than trying to overcome the limitations of health status measures in monitoring the quality of health care institutions.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Qual Health Care

Publication Date





107 - 109


Health Policy, Health Status Indicators, Humans, Managed Care Programs, Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care, Quality Assurance, Health Care