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Have difficulty grasping objects: Yes or no

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample persons aged 55 or older in 1984, and for all persons aged 18 or older in the National Health Interview Survey-Disability Survey (NHIS-D) Phase I sample in 1994 and 1995, FLGRASPYN reports if the person has difficulty using his or her fingers to grasp or handle objects. Please see Comparability tab for changes in question wording between samples.


In 1994 and 1995, this variable is part of the Disability Supplement (NHIS-D) that collects information on disability. NHIS-D included two household interviews: in Phase I all members of sample families were screened for any indication of disability; in Phase II persons with any indication of disability were followed-up for additional information. Phase I includes sensory, communication, and mobility problems; health conditions; activities of daily living and independent activities of daily living; functional limitations; mental health; services and benefits; special health needs of children; early child development; education; relationship to respondent; and perceived disability. Phase II includes four Disability Followback Survey (DFS) questionnaires: one for children, one for adults, one for elderly persons (69 years of age and over) without any indication of disability (also called the Supplement on Aging or SOA; only in 1994), and one for persons with a history of polio.

This variable is part of a series of variables related to the difficulty of doing various activities which may be expected in a work setting or in housework, and the number of years this difficulty has persisted.


Aside from changes in universe, question wording changed between the 1984 sample and 1994/1995 samples. In 1984, persons were asked if, by themselves and without using aids, they have any difficulty using their fingers to grasp or handle. In 1994 and 1995, a household respondent was asked if any adults in the family "have any difficulty using fingers to grasp or handle something such as picking up a glass from a table." Unlike 1984, a family respondent answered as a proxy for all persons ages 18 and older in 1994 and 1995.


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.
  • 1994-1995: Persons aged 18 years and older in the NHIS-D Phase I sample.


  • 1984, 1994-1995