The operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems: isues of validity and utility

Aspinall, P.J. (2005) The operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems: isues of validity and utility. Health Informatics Journal, 11 (3). pp. 259-274. ISSN 1460-4582. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1460458205055688

Abstract

This article looks at the operationalization of race and ethnicity concepts in medical classification systems, notably the main bibliographical databases of MEDLINE and EMBASE. In particular, an attempt is made to assess recent changes, including the impact of the 2004 major changes to the MeSH headings for race and ethnic groups, and the introduction of ‘Continental Population Groups’. The underlying conceptual basis of the typologies, their relevance for capturing specific population groups, and their overall usefulness in appraising the literature on ethnic/racial disparities in health are examined. The bibliographical database thesauri reveal the pervasiveness of the notion of the biological basis of health differences by race/ethnicity as well as continuing use of antiquated racial terminology. Their system-oriented terminology is likely to limit the effectiveness of retrieval by users who may lack knowledge of their hierarchical structures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: biomedical databases • classifications • controlled vocabulary • ethnicity • MeSH
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Helen Wooldridge
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2008 14:17
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2012 14:01
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/5008 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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