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8. 'Core activity need for assistance' is an attribute of the counting unit person.
9. Operationally, 'Core activity need for assistance' is defined as a person's reported need for help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, because of a long term health condition. It is obtained by derivation either from the classification of 'Severity of disability' or from the responses given to questions specific to this variable. The result obtained is dependent on respondent perception of their need for help, and their interpretation of the meanings of 'help', 'supervision', 'difficulty', 'restriction', and 'everyday activity'.
Scope of the variable
10. The variable 'Core activity need for assistance' applies to all persons.
11. 'Core activity need for assistance' requires the supporting variable 'Age'. In collections which use the interviewer-based collection module, the variable 'Severity of disability' is collected simultaneously.
DISCUSSION OF CONCEPTUAL ISSUES
12. Extensive ABS testing has shown that disability is a difficult and complex concept to measure, particularly with a short question module. Also, there are quality limitations with any measurement tool and the Disability Module is no exception. The self-completed collection version of 'Core activity need for assistance' is specifically intended to provide a basis for identifying a target group for disability service provision, policy development and funding allocation at the small area level. Note that this is a subset of the broader disability population and should not be used as a proxy for disability.
13. There are a number of reasons why data on disability is difficult to collect with a great degree of accuracy. These include:
14. 'Core activity need for assistance' is a derived variable. The respondent is asked questions on need for assistance, and questions on the perceived reason for that need for assistance. The two standard question modules show that there are a number of different ways that question sequencing can be structured, with the consequence that it is not possible to reduce the full modules to component parts and collect useful data from those components. For example, the module for self-completed collections such as the Census asks questions on need for assistance with body movement activities, self care activities and communication activities separately. However, responses provided to these questions can't be regarded as providing meaningful information unless the follow up question on the reasons for that need for assistance is also asked. Responses provided to the follow up question are used to filter responses to the previous questions on need for assistance. It should also be noted that the questions in the interviewer-based collection module do not distinguish between the three areas of core activity.
15. The method by which 'Core activity need for assistance' is obtained is explained in the 'Derivation procedures' section below. To derive 'Core activity need for assistance' from the self-completed collection module the additional variable 'Age' is required. 'Age' is used to assess responses which indicate that the person has a need for assistance due to old or young age. The method by which 'Core activity need for assistance' uses the variable 'Age' is explained in the 'Derivation procedures' section.
1200.0.55.001 - Disability Variables, 2006
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/10/2006 First Issue