4430.0.30.002 - Microdata: Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/10/2016   
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The SDAC 2015 data is available across ten levels. Many of the levels have a hierarchical relationship:

1. Household
2. Family
3. Income Unit
4. Person
5. All conditions
6. Restrictions
7. Specific activities
8. All recipients (not available on TableBuilder)
9. Broad activities
10. Assistance providers

The first four levels of SDAC data are in a hierarchical relationship, where each level is derived from the previous. These levels can be described as follows: a person is a member of an income unit, which is a member of a family, which is a member of a household. A household may have more than one family, while a family may have more than one income unit, and so on.

Levels 5 to 9 relate to the characteristics of conditions, restrictions and activities, with each being a sub-level of level 4 (Person). That is, a person can have multiple conditions and restrictions, as well as require assistance with one or more activities. Level 10 is a sub-level of level 9 (Broad activities), as it relates to characteristics of the assistance provided for activities identified in level 9. An activity can be undertaken with the assistance of one or more providers.

There are ‘dummy’ or ‘Not applicable’ records at each of the sub-person levels 5 to 9, which allow for those instances where a person does not contribute a record to a particular level. For example, a person with no conditions will not contribute a record to the All conditions level. This allows data items on sub-person levels to be used for calculating the total of ‘all persons’.

Additionally, ‘Not applicable’ records exist at the Assistance providers level for those people who experience difficulty with a broad activity (i.e. a record exists on level 9), but do not have a provider of assistance for that activity (i.e. no record exists on level 10).

Broadly, each level provides the following:
    • Household level - information about the household size and structure and household income details
    • Family level - information about the family size and structure, including whether there is a primary carer and/or a person with disability in the family
    • Income unit level - information about the income unit size and whether there is a primary carer in the income unit
    • Person level - information on all demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the survey respondents, and most of the health and related information they provided
    • All conditions level - detailed information about the long-term health conditions reported in the survey
    • Restrictions level - detailed information about the restrictions reported in the survey
    • Specific activities level - detailed information about how much support people need to perform specific activities, such as moving about their place of residence
    • Recipient level (not available on TableBuilder) - detailed information on respondents who need help or supervision with everyday activities because of their age or disability, including the types of assistance they need
    • Broad activities level - detailed information about how much support people need to perform tasks at the broad activity level (e.g. mobility, communication)
    • Assistance providers level - detailed information on people providing assistance to others because of age or disability, including the types of assistance they provide.
While the survey collects from private dwellings, self-care retirement villages and health establishments, only private dwellings and self-care retirement villages are included at the Household, Family and Income unit levels. A full listing of output data items available on the CURF, TableBuilder and DataLab can be accessed on the Downloads tab of this release.


The 'one to many' relationships described by levels 5 to 10 are known as repeating datasets, that is, sets of data with a counting unit that may be repeated for a person. For example, the repeating dataset for all conditions will have one record per condition reported, because condition is the counting unit. Repeating datasets are only useful when common information is collected for each instance of a counting unit. For example, each condition reported has the data item 'Whether reported condition is main condition' associated with it. This data item corresponds to each condition reported. Note that only one of the conditions reported for a particular person has a 1 (Yes) for 'Whether reported condition is main condition'. This enables a table to be run on 'All conditions' by 'Whether reported condition is the main condition' to ascertain which condition causes the most problems.

Note that although the output above only relates to a single person, the totals are a count of all conditions for that person. As with the Person level file, some data items in a repeating dataset are only applicable to a particular sub-population of the dataset. For instance, the item 'Whether assistance is always or sometimes required with each activity' from the Specific activities level is only applicable for activities where the respondent needs assistance. Records outside the sub-population will appear as 'Not applicable'.