Health outcomes refer to the changes in the health status of individuals or the population. The outcomes are attributed to multiple or planned interventions, whether or not the intention of the intervention was to alter the health status. These interventions include health services and programs including health promotion programs, government policies, laws and regulations, and consequent programs. Intervention may also include unintended or intended health outcomes of government policies in areas besides health. Health outcomes are evaluated by health indicators (World Health Organization, 1998).
Health indicators are a single measure, represented quantitatively, that encapsulates an important aspect of health, such as the amount people suffering from a chronic disease. It also captures a variety of health determinants such as income, or the important aspects of the health care system, such as the proportion of patients who revisit the hospital for additional care following previous treatment (World Health Organization, 1998). These indicators can be used to describe a public health concern at a specific point in time. It can indicate periodic changes over time at the population or individual health level, describe differences in the population health, and examine the extent at which program objectives are being met. These indicators can possibly encompass illness or disease measurements which are commonly used in measuring health outcomes, such as health expectancy, life skills, and quality of life, and behaviors or actions taken by individuals related to health (Rigby & Kohler, 2002).
Child health outcomes tend to be influenced by the parents, the home environment, intact families, maternal and non-maternal quality of care, and religious involvement. The social and behavioral development of children is directly related to the quality of care provided by their mothers and non-maternal care for those in child care. Studies have suggested that the emotional health of pre-adolescents is related to their parent’s religious practices (The Heritage Foundation, 2011).
Children are born into a complex environment which can have negative and positive effects on their health (Rigby & Kohler, 2002). Many services such as the Center for Adolescent Services, the Ounce of Prevention, Care Source and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are available to promote, protect, and address specific child health population problems. Measuring the health of children is important because the youth are citizens that are unable to act as self-advocates at the population level and their health determines the health of the population in the future. Child health measurement indicators are central in identifying priorities, progress, problems, newly emergent issues, and changes over time (Rigby & Kohler, 2002). Youth violence, childhood obesity, childhood asthma, and pre-term births are a few childhood indicators that will be presented in the succeeding...