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Health needs assessment 

Health needs assessment
Chapter:
Health needs assessment
Author(s):

Michael P. Kelly

, Jane E. Powell

, and Natalie Bartle

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199661756.003.0236
Page of

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date: 23 September 2019

This chapter begins with a consideration of the technical processes used for conducting health needs assessment. The relationship between health needs assessment and health economics is then examined and the philosophy of utilitarianism and its influence on health economics is explored. Cost utility analysis and its links to studies of quality of life are described and the important relationships between equity and efficiency are considered. The chapter then proceeds to explore the political and philosophical issues attaching to health needs assessment. This leads to an elaboration of the concept of justice derived from the work of Sen. Using ideas about the importance of human capabilities an argument is developed about the relational approach to understanding justice. The relational as against the individualistic position is found to provide a novel and useful way of describing health need and of attempting to meet that need. It also provides a set of precepts about the ways that services might be configured.

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