I have a rating system which can take 5 possible outcomes, which are coded to:
0 : No problem 1 : Minor problem 2 : Mild problem 3 : Moderate problem 4 : Severe problem
This scale relates to severity of individual's medical conditions and I have 12 separate items (each with the same 5 possible outcomes) I would like to aggregate the 12 to make a combined score.
The problem I have is when I combine the scales, for example using a sum. If individual 'A' scores a 2 (mild problem) across all 12 items they would be assigned a aggregated score of 24. However if individual 'B' scores a 4 (severe problem) in 2 of the 12 items and 1 (minor problem) in the rest they would be assigned a aggregated score of 18.
So using this crude example individual 'A' would be ranked higher than individual 'B' but 'B' requires the more urgent attention. A mean would also yield similar results.
Is there any analysis that can be applied to this to favour the more severe cases without skewing results.