Alternative Measures of Self-Reported Disability

Douglas A. Wolf, Syracuse University
Jennifer Cornman, Independent Consultant
Vicki A. Freedman, University of Michigan
Brenda Spillman, Urban Institute
Emily M. Agree, Johns Hopkins University
Judy Kasper, Johns Hopkins University

The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) is a new population-level household survey focused on disability trends and trajectories. It is scheduled to begin annual interviewing in 2011. As the successor to the National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS), NHATS includes among its goals the ability to produce prevalence estimates that can be compared to those produced earlier by the NLTCS. In early 2010, a draft of the NHATS disability protocol was administered for purposes validity testing; eight NLTCS disability-screener questions were included in the validation study. This paper presents results from a comparative analysis of the disability measures produced by the new NHATS protocol and the established NLTCS items. Preliminary results indicate that the NHATS protocol reveals a broad range of functional problems to which respondents have adapted, even among those whose responses to the NLTCS items indicate that they have no problems with everyday activities.

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Presented in Poster Session 7