A revised scoring scheme for the classification of socio-economic status in Nigeria
Background: Researchers in medicine and related fields in Nigeria have usually made recourse to the instrument developed by Olusanya et al and Oyedeji in the past three-and-a half decades for determination of socioeconomic status (SES). Beside the question of their age, however, these instruments were purposive and might no longer be suitable because of the changes in the parameters on which they were based.
Objective: To develop a robust but generic scheme that takes into consideration the changes in the nation’s socioeconomic space in the succeeding three and a half decades.
Methods: A detailed and comprehensive review of the extant schemes was undertaken with a view to identifying their inherent weaknesses. The latter were then factored into the design of a new scheme taking into consideration the emergent restructuring of career positions in the civil/public service as well as the place of private and informal sectors of the economy. The new scheme was validated at the University of Benin
and Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospitals.
Results: The new scheme had a remarkably high Inter-rater reliability (r = 0.947, p<0.001), raterre- rater reliability (r = 0.984, p <0.001) and % agreement (with modified Oyedeji’s tool as standard) of 67% (K coefficient = 0.47, r = 0.71, p<0.001)
Conclusion/Recommendation: The new scheme could be a viable tool for the assessment of SES of families and individuals, which not only takes into consideration current realities of the nation’s economy, but also is readily adaptable to meet foreseeable changes.