Trends of Disability under Different Measurement Schemes in the Chinese Elderly Population, 2002 to 2008

Qiushi Feng, National University of Singapore
Yi Zeng, Duke University and Peking University

ADL and IADL indexes as self-reported limitations on the daily activities are limited to differentiate the contextual barriers and intrinsic impairment for of disability status in the elderly population. This study examines four types of disability measurements in a disability trend analysis: 1) the self-reported difficulty in IADL, 2) the self-reported dependency in ADL, 3) the self-evaluated function performance, and 4) the objective performance in function tests. The data are from three waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) in 2002, 2005 and 2008. The results showed contrasting trends under four different measurement schemes. The fact that the trends based on objective performance is reversed in comparison with trends of ADL and IADL suggests that it is likely that the ADL and IADL improvement could be largely due to the changes in the living environment of the elderly instead of the improvement of their body functions.

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Presented in Session 26: Health and Disability in Later Life