Codes and Frequencies
CHAIR indicates whether the respondent or someone in the respondent's family used a wheelchair at the time of the interview. In 1969, 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1990, this question applied to the respondent and the respondent's family members. Beginning in 2008, this question only applied to sample adults. This question was asked of all surveyed adults in 1969, 1977, 1979, 1980 and 2008, but was only asked of those who indicated that they used equipment for moving around in 1990 (MOBILAIDYN) and 2010 and later years (LAWALKCLIMPERQ).
The basic methodology employed to collect the information in CHAIR was similar in all years, but the details differed slightly through time.
In 1969, 1977, 1979, 1980 respondents are simply asked about whether anyone in the family uses a wheelchair. In 1990 and 2008, the question specifies that the aid is used, "...to get around..." and in 2010, this precision changes to use of equipment for, "...help with walking, climbing steps, or moving around?" For 1990, this variable indicates the type of wheel chair (Manual, Electric or Scooter).
In 1990, this question was only asked of respondents who did not refuse to complete the assistive devices supplement.
In 2010, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Quality of Life supplement (administered to approximately a quarter of sample adults). In 2011-2017, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Adult Functioning and Disability supplement (administered to a subset of sample adults). Beginning in 2018, this item was included on the sample adult questionnaire.
CHAIR is an item on the Extended Washington Group Set on Functioning (WG-ES). Additional information about the Washington Group measures is provided below.
The Washington Group on Disability Statistics
In 2019, functioning and disability measures included on the NHIS questionnaire were modified to align with validated, internationally-comparable disability measures developed by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG). For more information about the WG initiative, other WG functioning and disability measures included on the NHIS questionnaire, and guidance for researchers about how to use the WG measures in analyses, please see our user note on the Washington Group Disability Measures.
Beginning in 2018, this item was included on the sample adult questionnaire. Please refer to Weights section for information about sample-specific weights. As always, users should employ the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.
Questionnaire design changes introduced in 2019 limit comparability with earlier years. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
- 1969; 1977: All persons.
- 1979-1980: All persons.
- 1990: Persons who did not refuse to complete the assistive devices supplement and who now use any special equipment getting around.
- 2008: Sample persons age 18+.
- 2010: Quarter of sample persons age 18+, included in quality of life supplement (and excluded from family disability supplement), who use equipment or receive help for walking, climbing steps, or moving around.
- 2011: Sample adults 18+ who were selected to receive the Family Disability questions and used equipment or received help with walking, climbing steps, or moving around.
- 2012-2017: Sample adults 18+ who were asked the Family disability questions and were selected to receive the Functioning and Disability section, and used equipment or received help gettting around.
- 2018: Sample adults 18+ who used equipment or received help gettting around.
- 2019-2020: Sample adults 18+ who use equipment or receive help for getting around (LAWALKCLIMPERQ).
- 1969, 1977, 1979-1980, 1990, 2008, 2010-2020