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Use of multivariate measures of disability in health surveys.
  1. J R Charlton,
  2. D L Patrick,
  3. H Peach

    Abstract

    It has been claimed that the aggregation of information from several areas of life into a small set of global measures has certain advantages for describing disability. Global measures of disability were constructed from a modified version of an existing health survey instrument and the sickness impact profile (SIP) and their properties were tested. The disability items grouped satisfactorily into five global measures (physical, psychosocial, eating, communication, and work). All disability measures (global and original category scores) were poor predictors of service use by individuals but were related as expected to age and number of medical conditions. The global measures generally had lower standard errors and better repeatability. All scores exhibit J-shaped distributions for cross sectional data but the change in global measures over time was consistent with the normal distribution. Preferably, both global and category measures should be used for comparing changes over time between groups of individuals.

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