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Uses hearing aid

Codes and Frequencies

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HRAUSES reports whether the person now uses a hearing aid. Please see Comparability and Universe tabs for information on changes in the universe 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.

For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


HRAUSES is not completely comparable over time. The universe includes all persons in 1971, 1977, 1979, 1980, and 1991. In 1984, the universe includes sample persons ages 55 and older. In 1990, the universe includes persons whose household respondent did not refuse to complete the assistive devices supplement. In 1994 and 1995, the universe includes persons in the National Health Interview Survey-Disability Survey (NHIS-D) Phase I sample. From 2007 forward, the universe includes sample adults ages 18 and older.

In 1990, persons coded "Not mentioned" include those for whom it was unknown whether he or she used any assistive device for hearing problems. To identify those persons, please see HRALDUSE (Uses assistive device for hearing impairment).

In addition to the changes in universe noted in the Universe tab, the presence of proxy reporting somewhat reduces comparability. In 1971, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1990, and 1991, a respondent representing the family could answer this question for other family members. In 1984 and 2007 forward, except in rare cases where disability precluded self-reporting, sample persons themselves answered the question. Because self-reporting is likely to be more accurate than proxy reporting, researchers should exercise caution when comparing results between different years.

Changes in the universe may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed NHIS weights.


  • 1971; 1977; 1991: All persons.
  • 1979-1980: All persons.
  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.
  • 1990: Persons whose household respondent did not refuse the assistive devices questionnaire.
  • 1991: All persons.
  • 1994-1995: Persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample.
  • 2007-2018: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1971, 1977, 1979-1980, 1984, 1990-1991, 1994-1995, 2007-2018