Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults, PAINFREQ3MO reports whether, and how frequently, they had pain the past 3 months. Please see the universe tab for universe changes prior to 2018.
The Washington Group on Disability Statistics
PAINFREQ3MO is part of the pain domain in the Washington Group Extended Set (WG-ES) of disability measures.
In 2019, functioning and disability measures included on the NHIS questionnaire were modified to align with validated, internationally-comparable disability measures developed by the Washington Group on Disability Statistics (WG). For more information about the WG initiative, other WG functioning and disability measures included on the NHIS questionnaire, and guidance for researchers about how to use the WG measures in analyses, please see our user note on the Washington Group Disability Measures.
PAINLEGS3M is part of a series of variables reporting the amount of pain people experience in different parts of their body. Additional variables reporting on locations of pain include:
- PAINBACK3M: Back pain
- PAINARMS3M: Pain in hands, arms, or shoulders
- PAINHEAD3M: Headache or migraine
- PAINABS3M: Abdominal, pelvic, or genital pain
- PAINTOOTH3M: Toothache or jaw pain
- PAINLEGS3M: Pain in hips, knees, or feet
Aside from changes in the survey design in 2019 and the universe between the periods of 2010, 2011-2015, 2016-2017, and 2018 and later years, this variable is comparable over time.
In 2010, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Quality of Life supplement (administered to approximately a quarter of sample adults). In 2011-2015, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Adult Functioning and Disability supplement (administered to a subset of sample adults). In 2016-2017, sample adults who completed the Adult Functioning and Disability supplement who indicated that they never experienced pain in the past 6 months (PAINFREQ6MO) were excluded from the universe of persons asked this question. Beginning in 2018, the variable PAINFREQ6MO was not included in the survey and Adult Functioning and Disability supplement questions were included in the sample adult questionnaire; PAINFREQ3MO is asked of all sample adults aged 18 and older.
The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
As always, users should employ the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.
- 2010: One quarter of sample adults, included in quality of life supplement (and excluded from family disability supplement).
- 2011-2015: Sample adults 18+ who were selected to receive the family disability questions (FDB) and were randomly selected to receive the Functioning and Disability (AFD) section.
- 2016 2017: Sample adults 18+ who were selected to receive the family disability questions (FDB) and were randomly selected to receive the Functioning and Disability (AFD) section and had pain on at least some days in the past 6 months or refused to answer or did not know how often they had pain in the past 6 months.
- 2018: Sample adults aged 18 and older.
- 2019-2021: Sample adults age 18+.