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Duration of functionally limiting back/neck problem: Time period

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For Sample Adults age 18+ who, without using special equipment, had any difficulty with one or more functional activities (FLANY), and for whom a back or neck problem was reported as a condition causing a functional activity limitation (FLBACK), FLBACKTP reports the time unit in which the duration of the back or neck problem was measured by the respondent.

Data on the duration of the limiting back or neck problem were collected via the question, "How long have you had [a back or neck problem]?" Respondents could answer this open-ended question using the time unit of their choice (i.e., days, weeks, months, years, or since birth). The original responses to the question are reported in two complementary variables, FLBACKTP (which, as noted above, specifies the time unit) and FLBACKNO (which reports the number of such units). For the NHIS public use files, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recoded the results from these two variables to create two other variables using standard time units: years (FLBACKY) and groups of months (FLBACKMO).


The variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Sample adults age 18+ who have difficulty with activities due to back/neck problem.


  • 1997-2018