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Schederecker, Florian; Kurz, Christoph; Fairburn, Jon and Maier, Werner (2019): Do alternative weighting approaches for an Index of Multiple Deprivation change the association with mortality? A sensitivity analysis from Germany. In: BMJ Open, Vol. 9, No. 8 [PDF, 285kB]


Objectives This study aimed to assess the impact of using different weighting procedures for the German Index of Multiple Deprivation (GIMD) investigating their link to mortality rates. Design and setting In addition to the original (normative) weighting of the GIMD domains, four alternative weighting approaches were applied: equal weighting, linear regression, maximization algorithm and factor analysis. Correlation analyses to quantify the association between the differently weighted GIMD versions and mortality based on district-level official data from Germany in 2010 were applied (n=412 districts). Outcome measures Total mortality (all age groups) and premature mortality (<65 years). Results All correlations of the GIMD versions with both total and premature mortality were highly significant (p<0.001). The comparison of these associations using Williams's t-test for paired correlations showed significant differences, which proved to be small in respect to absolute values of Spearman's rho (total mortality: between 0.535 and 0.615;premature mortality: between 0.699 and 0.832). Conclusions The association between area deprivation and mortality proved to be stable, regardless of different weighting of the GIMD domains. The theory-based weighting of the GIMD should be maintained, due to the stability of the GIMD scores and the relationship to mortality.

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