4367.0 - Aspects of Disability and Health in Australia, 2007-2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/03/2011  First Issue
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Disability statistics define disability and explain how a high proportion of disabilities relate to long-term health conditions. In contrast, health statistics measure the health status of the population, health related aspects of lifestyle, other health risk factors and the use of health services or other actions people had recently taken for their health1. This article draws the two concepts together, to present a statistical picture of Profound/severe disability and:

  • social and demographic indicators;
  • chronic disease;
  • health risk factors;
  • health professional consultations; and
  • health insurance.

The main measure of disability from the National Health Survey (NHS) used in this publication is the combined Profound/severe core activity limitation classification, referred to as 'people with Profound/severe disability'. These are people who need some ongoing help or supervision with communication, self-care and/or mobility for six months or more.

This combined classification in the NHS 2007/08, consistently aligns to measures of Profound/severe disability in the benchmark Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), see Disability, Ageing and Carers: Summary of Findings, 2003, (cat. no. 4430.0). While the two measures differ, the measure in the NHS is useful for describing the characteristics of people within the survey who have a disability compared to those who have no disability. The main comparison in this publication is between 'people with Profound/severe core activity limitation' and 'people with no disability'.

The category 'Other disability' refers to people who have a disability that is not profound or severe This is a derived category which includes:
  • Moderate and Mild core activity limitation;
  • Schooling/employment restriction only; or
  • Has a disability, with no restriction or specific limitation.

For a comprehensive discussion of disability measures, comparing the NHS and SDAC results, see Sources of Disability Information Australia, 2003-2008, (cat. no. 4431.0.55.002).