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Had lot of trouble with weakness, past 12 months

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For sample persons age 18 and over who did not refuse the bowel function questions, this variable indicates if the respondent had lot of trouble with weakness in past 12 months. No definition of "weakness" was provided in the Field Representative's Manual and the term is assumed to be respondent defined.

Interviewers prefaced the section on normative bowel functions in the 1989 survey with the statement, "The next questions are about bowel habits during the past 12 months. Because these questions are personal, I can read the questions to you or if you prefer, you can fill them out yourself." The question for WEAKTRUBYR was then introduced to the respondent by handing them a card with a list 18 of health problems to which they respondent would reply "yes" or no as to whether the condition was "a lot of trouble."
"A lot of trouble" was defined as the respondent saw or talked to a doctor or other health
professional, took medication more than once, or the problem interfered with their life or usual activities.


WEAKTRUBYR was part of the 1989 survey supplement on Digestive Disorders which had 3 sections. The first asked about specific conditions such as gallstones, ulcers or colon or bowel conditions (see IRRBOWELYR , ever told by a doctor or other health professional that they had "inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel, or constipation severe enough to require medication). The second asked about abdominal pain (such as ABPAIN3XYR, had abdominal pain 3 or more times, past 12 months). The third was on normative bowel functions, which included WEAKTRUBYR.

Related Variables

For a list of variables from the 1989 normative bowel function section, see ABGASTRUBYR


This variable has no comparability issues.


  • 1989: Sample persons age 18+ who did not refuse to complete bowel function questions.


  • 1989