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Use catheter/device to control urination

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample persons age 55 and older in 1984, persons age 65 and older in 1986, and sample persons age 65 and older who have trouble controlling urination in 1991, LAURINEQPYN reports whether she/he uses catheter or a device to help control urination. In 1984 and 1986, if asked, the interviewers were instructed to give the following definition for urinary catheter or device: "Surgical openings or aids used to aid in urination when the person has lost natural control of this function through illness, disability, surgery, or other causes. Do not include enemas or suppositories as devices." In 1991, if asked, the interviewers are instructed to not include "shields or other diaper-like items as devices to aid in urination control."

This variable was introduced in 1984 as 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 the universe reduce comparability over time. In 1984, this question was asked of sample persons age 55 and older. In 1986, it was asked of all persons age 65 and older. Beginning in 1991, it was asked of sample persons age 65 and older who have trouble controlling urination. Because of these changes, researchers should use caution in making comparisons across years. Please see the Universe tab for more details.


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.
  • 1986: Persons age 65+.
  • 1991: Sample persons age 65+ who have trouble controlling urination.


  • 1984, 1986, 1991