Defining Diversity

We define the term “diversity” to be broad and inclusive. At minimum, it includes:

  • Demographic factors such as sex, race, ethnicity, age, location, genetics etc.
  • Non-demographic factors such as comorbidities, organ dysfunction, concurrent medications, environmental factors, compliance. Among non-demographic factors are those that are historically, socially, and culturally determined.
  • Social factors, and those within the term “social determinants of health,” including education level, economic status, family size, food insecurity, etc.
Dimensions of diversity

Each factor of diversity is important in different circumstances. Diversity is context-specific and it demands a context-specific analysis. Different dimensions of diversity are often interdependent and interrelated.

Dimensions of Diversity

There are many dimensions that make up the diversity of an individual.

Any combination of these may contribute directly or indirectly to treatment outcome.  Dimensions of diversity are not independent variables. They influence and are intertwined with one another.

In the social context, the term “intersectionality” is used to describe a framework for conceptualizing a person, group of people, or social problem as affected by discrimination and disadvantage. Here, the term is meant to represent the “intersection” of dimensions of diversity in the analysis of response.

Examples of Dimensions and Intersections of Diversity