Research and Action for Youth Health
 

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Constructing a regional adolescent health and wellness index for British Columbia.

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to construct an index of adolescent health and wellness for British Columbia, Canada, using the most recent available data. A three- round Delphi study is used in order to decide on what indicators to include in the index and each indicator’s relative weight. Spatial multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is utilized to combine the indicators into a single measure. The spatial MCA, technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) method was applied to the adolescent population as a whole and to examine male and female variation. This revealed that adolescent health and wellness is not experienced equally across the province. The Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDAs) Fraser South and Fraser North proved to have the greatest levels of adolescent health and wellness while the Northwest has the least. A rural/ urban gradient in adolescent health and wellness was revealed at the HSDA level. Male and female adolescents also experience health and wellness differently, with females achieving higher health and wellness across all HSDAs in the Province when directly comparing the two genders. The findings of this research are useful in informing discussions of resource allocation for reducing inequalities and inequities and in order to target future research.