Codes and Frequencies
WALKER indicates whether the person was using a walker at the time of the interview. Please see Comparability and Universe tabs for information on changes in the universe and question wording 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 2010, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Quality of Life supplement (administered to approximately a quarter of sample adults). In 2011-2017, this item was collected for sample adults who completed the Adult Functioning and Disability supplement (administered to a subset of sample adults). Beginning in 2018, this item was included on the sample adult questionnaire.
Changes in the universe limit comparability between samples.
In 1969, 1977, 1979, and 1980, this question was asked of a family respondent and applied to each person who uses the device.
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.
In 2010, this question only applied to sample adult respondents who indicated that they used equipment for moving around (LAWALKCLIMPERQ).
Changes in wording may also alter meaning between samples. In 1969, 1977, 1979, 1980 respondents are simply asked about whether anyone in the family uses a walker. In 1990 and 2008, the question specifies that the aid is used, "...to get around..." and in 2010, this precision changes to use of equipment for, "...help with walking, climbing steps, or moving around?"
As always, users should employ the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.
- 1969; 1977: All persons.
- 1979-1980: All persons.
- 1990: Persons whose household respondent did not refuse to complete the assistive devices supplement.
- 1994-1995: Persons in the NHIS-D Phase I sample who currently use a mobility aid to get around.
- 2008: Sample adults age 18+.
- 2010: One quarter of sample adults age 18+, included in quality of life supplement (and excluded from family disability supplement), who use equipment or receive help for walking, climbing steps, or moving around.
- 2011: Sample adults 18+ who were selected to receive the Family Disability questions and used equipment or received help with walking, climbing steps, or moving around.
- 2013-2017: Sample adults 18+ who were asked the family disability questions (FDB), were randomly selected to receive the Functioning and Disability (AFD) section, and used equipment or received help with getting around.
- 2018: Sample adults 18+ who used equipment or received help with getting around.
- 1969, 1977, 1979-1980, 1990, 1994-1995, 2008, 2010-2018