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Codes and Frequencies

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SCOOTER reports whether the person used a mobility scooter at the time of the survey. Please see Comparability and Universe sections 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.

In all years this question is part of a series of questions on the use of special mobility aids.


Changes in universe affect comparability between samples.

In 1990, the universe includes all persons whose household respondent did not refuse to complete the assistive devices supplement. However, in 1990 persons were coded as "No" if they did not use this device for mobility or if it is unknown if any device is used for mobility. Data users seeking to distinguish between these groups can combine this variable with MOBILAIDYN (uses aid for getting around).

In 1994 and 1995, this question applied only to persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample who used special equipment for getting around (MOBILAIDYN). In 2008, the question only applied to the sample adult respondent, and was asked of all sample adults.

Along with changes in the universe, the presence of proxy reporting in 1990, 1994 and 1995, but not in 2008, could affect responses. In 1990, 1994 and 1995, a respondent representing the family could answer this question for other adult family members. In 2008, except in rare cases where disability precluded self-reporting, sample adults themselves answered the question. Although self-reporting is likely to be more accurate than proxy reporting, proxy reporting for a variable such as SCOOTER is likely to be accurate because of the visibility of the aid to other household members.


  • 1990: Persons whose household respondent did not refuse the assistive devices supplement.
  • 1994-1995: Persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample who use a mobility aid to get around.
  • 2008: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1990, 1994-1995, 2008