Rating health and social indicators for use with indigenous communities: A tool for balancing cultural and scientific utility

Mark Daniel, Margaret Cargo, Elisabeth Marks, Catherine Paquet, David Simmons, Margaret Williams, Kevin Rowley, Kerin O'Dea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports on the development and evaluation of a rating tool to assess the scientific utility and cultural appropriateness of community-level indicators for application with Indigenous populations. Indicator criteria proposed by the U.S. Institute of Medicine were culturally adapted through reviewing the literature and consultations with academic and Indigenous stakeholders. Pre-testing and collaborator feedback drove the iterative development of the tool with stakeholder groups in Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Australia. Pilot testing with 17 raters across countries involved rating the same selection of six health and social indicators using a six-point ordinal scale. The final version of the rating tool includes 16 questions within three criterion domains: importance, soundness, and viability. Academic and community stakeholder review established face and content validity. The indicator rating tool demonstrated good internal consistency and excellent inter-rater reliability for two of three pilot testing groups. Use of this instrument can strengthen collaborative research planning and evaluation with Indigenous communities through selection of relevant and culturally appropriate indicators for application to public health research, prevention programmes, and health and social policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Community participation
  • Health status indicators
  • Indigenous populations
  • Programme planning
  • Reliability and validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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