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Need help taking care of device to control bowels

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample persons age 55 and older in 1984, and age 65 and older in 1986, who use a colostomy or other device to help control bowel movements, LABOWLEQNHLP reports if she/he needs help from anyone in taking care of the device. If asked, interviewers are instructed to give the following definition for help in taking care of the device: "Personal assistance or supervision is required and/or received in operating, maintaining, or cleaning the device, in emptying the bags, etc."

This variable is part of a series of variables related to the difficulty of doing various activities due to a physical/mental health condition, the use of help from others to carry on such activities, and the number of years this difficulty has persisted. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IHIS weights.


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+ who have a colostomy or device to help control bowel movements.
  • 1986: Persons age 65+ who have a colotomy or device to control their bowels.


  • 1984, 1986