Proxy response patterns among the aged: effects on estimates of health status and medical care utilization from the 1982-1984 long-term care surveys.
We examined the use of proxies in samples of persons aged 65 years and over from the 1982 and 1984 National Long-Term Care Surveys (NLTCS). The NLTCS are designed to describe the Medicare-enrolled elderly population, their health and functioning, hospital, home health, and institutional use. The NLTCS, being longitudinal, allows trends in functional and health status to be examined as well as the changing character of community-based and institutional services used by chronically disabled persons aged 65 years and older. In analyses of proxy responses there was little evidence of differences in accuracy between self- and proxy reports in persons with different health and functional characteristics. The amount and type of proxy reporting did depend on the health and functional characteristics of the sample person. The cognitively impaired, and the frail elderly, had high levels of proxy use as well as small differences in the accuracy of reporting service use and program enrollment. The results are consistent with methodological studies of proxy reporting in health surveys of other populations.
Corder, LS; Woodbury, MA; Manton, KG
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