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Health measures. (Precis).

In the June issue of this Review, Thomas W. Hale described the difficulties researchers would encounter attempting to use the type of subjective self-report of disability status that appears in parts of the Current Population Survey. In their NBER working paper, "What do Self-Reported, Objective Measures of Health Measure?" Michael Baker, Mark Stabile, and Catherine Deri provide a similarly critical analysis of more specific techniques for measuring health status in personal surveys.

Their results, based on an analysis of matched Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS) and Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) data, show that there is substantial error in self-reports of specific chronic health conditions. Such specific questioning has been thought to provide a better measure of health status than self-reports of one's "global" or general health status. However, Baker, Stabile, and Deri find that "for many of the diseases more than 50 percent of the individuals who have a positive doctor's diagnosis in the OHIP data fail to report having the disease in the NPHS data. Similarly, we find that more than 50 percent of individuals who report having a disease in the NPHS have no corresponding doctor's diagnosis in the OHIP records."
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Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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