Trends in Functional Status and Disability among the Elderly
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Trends in Functional Status and Disability among the Elderly. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics. Ellen Kramarow Jennifer Akerblom NCHS Data Users Conference July 2004. Overview.

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Trends in functional status and disability among the elderly

Trends in Functional Status and Disability among the Elderly

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Health Statistics

Ellen Kramarow

Jennifer Akerblom

NCHS Data Users Conference

July 2004


Overview

Overview

  • Disability and Functioning

  • Definitions

  • Trends

  • Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging

  • Examples


Definitions

Definitions

Conceptual Frameworks (Nagi, IOM, WHO)

  • Pathology

  • Impairment

  • Functional Limitation

  • Disability


Definitions1

Definitions

Disability is a complex concept

  • Intersection of individual’s capacity with environment

  • Measurement in surveys does not necessarily capture all aspects of concept


Definitions2

Definitions

Disability Measurement

  • Self-report vs. performance measures

  • Survey design considerations (e.g., institutionalized vs. noninstitutionalized, age groups, cross section vs. panel, self-report vs. proxy)


Definitions3

Definitions

Disability Measurement

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)

  • Physical functioning (aka Nagi items)


Definitions4

Definitions

Disability Measurement

  • Question wording

    • Difficulty

    • Needs/receives help

    • Ability to perform with/without help or equipment


Trends

Trends

Recent review in JAMA (Freedman et al., 2002)

  • Declines in IADL limitations

  • Declines in physical functioning (Nagi) limitations

  • Mixed evidence on ADLs (forthcoming paper shows decline in some measures from mid-1990s)


Trends1

Trends

Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging

  • A collection of data tables providing information on trends of health and health care use by older Americans.  Viewable online or with Beyond 20/20 software.

  • Supported with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA)

  • http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/agingact.htm


Medicare current beneficiary survey mcbs

Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)

  • Began in 1991

  • Survey sample:

    • N = 12,000 (target sample size)

    • community and facility dwelling Medicare beneficiaries

  • Questions include:

    • health care use and cost

    • sociodemographic characteristics

    • health status

    • physical functioning


Mcbs and adls

MCBS and ADLs

  • Question:

    • Because of a health or physical problem, do you have any difficulty bathing/showering, dressing, eating, getting in/out of a bed/chair, walking, or using the toilet?


Trends in functional status and disability among the elderly

CommunityResidents Age 65 and over


Trends in functional status and disability among the elderly

Limitation of Activity: Difficulty Performing Activities of Daily Living, by Age, Residence, Sex, Race and Ethnicity. MCBS, 1992-2002

  • Among all individuals age >=65:

    • Decrease in reported ADL limitations between 1992-2002

  • Among individuals living in a facility:

    • Increasing trend in reported difficulty eating and/or using the toilet


National health interview survey nhis

National Health Interview Survey(NHIS)

  • Initiated in 1957

  • Surveys the civilian non-institutionalized population, N = approx. 100,000 persons from about 43,000 households

  • Collects information on the amount, distribution and effects of illness and disability

  • Survey redesigned in 1997


Nhis and adls

NHIS and ADLs

  • Question:

    • Because of a physical, mental, or emotional problem, do you need the help of other persons with personal care needs? If yes, do you need the help of other persons with bathing, dressing, eating, getting in/out of bed/chair, using the toilet, including getting to the toilet, and getting around inside the home?


Needing help with adls by age sex race and hispanic origin nhis 1997 2001

Needing Help with ADLs by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin. NHIS, 1997-2001

  • From 1997-2001, a decreasing trend in reported need for help with bathing/showering was observed

  • No significant change occurred in the percentage of people reporting they need help with other ADLs


Mcbs and physical functioning

MCBS and Physical Functioning

  • Question:

    • How much difficulty, if any, do you have stooping, lifting, reaching, grasping, and walking a quarter mile?

  • Response Options:

    • No difficulty at all, A little difficulty, Some difficulty, A lot of difficulty, Not able to do, Refused, Don’t know


Trends in functional status and disability among the elderly

Limitation of Activity: Difficulty in Physical Functioning by Age, Residence, Sex and Race. MCBS, 1992-2002

  • Community dwelling individuals reported:

    • Increased difficulty stooping

    • Decreased difficulty lifting, reaching and grasping

  • Facility dwelling individuals reported:

    • Increased difficulty lifting


Nhis and physical functioning

NHIS and Physical Functioning

  • Question:

    • By yourself, without using any special equipment, how difficult is it for you to walk a quarter mile, climb, stand, sit, stoop, reach, grasp, carry, and push?

  • Response Options:

    • Not at all difficult, Only a little difficult, Somewhat difficult, Very difficult, Can’t do at all, Do not do this activity


Any difficulty in physical functioning by age sex race and hispanic origin nhis 1997 2002

Any Difficulty in Physical Functioning by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin. NHIS, 1997-2002

  • 65% of the respondents reported ‘any difficulty’ with at least 1 of 9 physical tasks

  • Percentage reporting ‘any difficulty’ has remained constant from 1997-2002


Discrepancy in stooping measure

Discrepancy in Stooping Measure

  • MCBS asks about “stooping, crouching, or kneeling”

  • NHIS asks about “stooping, bending, or kneeling”

  • Percent “unable” to perform stooping is similar in both surveys

  • Unclear why estimates are different


Summary

Summary

  • MCBS data from 1990s show decline in ADL limitation among noninstitutionalized older persons.

  • NHIS shows a decline in percent needing help with bathing/showering only from 1997 to 2001.

  • For many items, no change seen during time period covered by NHIS.


Summary1

Summary

  • MCBS shows declining percent with difficulty in lifting, reaching, and grasping. Stooping measure is a puzzle.

  • Data on institutionalized generally show increase in disability.


Summary2

Summary

  • A lot of data on disability and functioning among the elderly are available.

  • Estimates across sources may differ because of differences in question wording, sample design, and other factors.

  • Making sense of the data takes work and attention to detail.


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