Evaluating and measuring a health capability set to assess public health interventions in a Purépecha community in Mexico

Marco Ricardo Téllez Cabrera


The capability approach in general and the health capability paradigm, in particular, represent a framework to build health-related indicators that take into account the impact that health interventions can have on aspects of life, such as freedom and welfare, going beyond health. This study aims to show how health capabilities can be used to generate a measure of health-related quality of life through a case study carried out in the Indigenous Purépecha community of Cuanajo, México by considering five internal and external dimensions: (a) health; (b) health agency; (c) medical care and services; (d) community, and (e) material living conditions. Subjective and objective indicators were collected through an instrument applied to the adult population (n=171). The point allocation methodology was used to elicit their attached weights while the aggregation of indicators to evaluate health capabilities was done considering a weighted mean function together with the Alkire–Foster methodology.  Differences in computed punctual weights between valued dimensions were almost negligible, and thus, aggregation was performed using equal weights but retaining three final indices due to incommensurability: subjective health capabilities, dwelling facilities, and income sufficiency. For this community, health agency, community, and dwelling facility health-related capabilities need to be expanded.

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