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C. Siordia

J Frailty Aging 2014;3(4):238-246

Background: Population estimates on disability prevalence inform policy makers and public health professionals. Understanding how factors capable of affecting measurement (e.g., proxy-report) vary in the population is important for establishing level of confidence in sample-derived population estimates. Objectives: To establish how use of proxy-reports varies by six disability types stratified by sex, race-ethnicity, and age group. Specific aim is achieved by investigating the number of proxy-reports used amongst the disable population. Design: Cross-sectional study using American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) 3-year file collected during 2009-2011 survey period. Setting: Community-dwelling population in continental United States (US). Participants: The unweighted count of 6,003,183 individuals in the microdata are said to represent about 193,277,485 individuals in the continental US population. Measurements: Stratified disability period estimates are computed. Amongst the disable: the number of proxy-reports; allocations; and Person Inflation Ratios (PRIs) are presented by disability type. Results: Half of all the reported disabilities are derived through the use of proxy-report. In addition, high rates of item-allocation and PRIs are generally found in race-ethnic minorities. Proxy-report use and PRIs are lower for those aged > 65—but not allocation rates. Conclusions: Although use of proxy report in the ascertainment of disability varies in complex ways, data suggest prevalence of proxy reports is lowest amongst Non-Latino-Black females ages 21 to 64. Efforts toward providing clinicians with high quality descriptive epidemiology should continue as a reliable thermometer for measuring disability in the population is needed.

C. Siordia (2014): PROXY-REPORTS IN THE ASCERTAINMENT OF DISABILITY PREVALENCE WITH AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY DATA. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2014.31

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