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Statistical measures of disability

Note: this harmonised principle is under review.

Over the next few months, the Harmonisation Team will update the way we communicate this principle. The principle itself will not change, however, the way we disseminate and present this information will.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about this work, or if you require advice on this topic (william.perks@ons.gov.uk).

 

The following guidance sets out how to collect and report statistics about disability to ensure statistics about this topic are as comparable as possible across the Government Statistical Service (GSS).

Questions

This section provides guidance on the survey questions to use when collecting information about statistical measures of disability.

Statistical measures of disability based on long-lasting health conditions and illnesses and activity restriction

The classification designed to measure the core population of currently disabled people for the Equality Act is shown below.

Classification of disability in terms of the Equality Act 2010

Question: Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?
Coded 1 (‘Yes’)
AND
Question: Does your condition or illness\do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities?
Coded 1 (Yes, A Lot’)
OR
Coded 2 (Yes, A Little’)

This population is classified on the basis of having a long-lasting physical or mental health condition or illness which restricts day-to-day activities. The information collected on impairment can be used alongside this classification to provide breakdowns by impairment type.

The harmonised questions and the classifications derivable from them exclude the non-core population of disabled people, covered in the Equality Act 2010. This group encompasses:

  1. those with a progressive condition specified in the Act (namely HIV/AIDS, Cancer or Multiple Sclerosis) whether or not the condition has a substantial adverse effect carrying-out day-to-day activities
  2. those who would be restricted without medication or treatment
  3. those that have been restricted in the past but are no longer restricted

These groups were excluded from the harmonised principles for the following reasons:

  1. the problems associated with capturing valid data on the three specified progressive conditions found in cognitive testing and in the LOS field testing
  2. the prohibitively high additional costs and added interview burden associated with implementing an additional three elements across general social survey sources
  3. the questions capturing these non-core elements of the Equality Act will be maintained in the FRS and the LOS allowing continuity in population prevalence estimates to be maintained using these sources

The classification designed for EU-SILC measures of long-lasting health conditions or illnesses and disability measurement by extent of activity restriction is shown in Box 2. These measures are for cross-country comparisons and for estimates designed to benchmark with a European average.

EU-SILC long-standing health condition or illness

Question: Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?
Coded 1 (‘Yes’)
EU-SILC classification of disability by extent
Estimate of severely hampered in daily activities
Question: Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?
Coded 1 (‘Yes’)
AND
Question: Does your condition or illness\do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities?
Coded 1 (‘Yes, A Lot’)
AND
Question: For how long has your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities been reduced?
Coded 2 (‘between 6 months and 12 months’)
OR
Coded 3 (‘12 months or more’)
Estimate of hampered in daily activities to some extent
Question: Do you have any physical or mental health conditions or illnesses lasting or expected to last 12 months or more?
Coded 1 (‘Yes’)
AND
Question: Does your condition or illness\do any of your conditions or illnesses reduce your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities?
Coded 2 (‘Yes, A Little’)
AND
Question: For how long has your ability to carry-out day-to-day activities been reduced?
Coded 2 (‘between 6 months and 12 months’)
OR
Coded 3 (‘12 months or more’)

A pictorial representation of these classifications is shown in the following flow diagram.

 

This principle is part of the collective health and disability statistics principles:

  • Long-lasting Health Conditions and Illnesses
  • Impairments
  • Activity Restriction
  • Statistical Measures of Disability