TABLE 3-6 HRQL Measurement in National Health Surveys



HRQL Information Collected

Response Rate/Other Comments

National Health Interview Survey

~94,000 persons of all ages in 37,000 households/personal interviews/annual

SRHS, health conditions, ADL, IADL, “Healthy Life Expectancy” calculation based on LE and SRHS

87%; includes ~12,000 < 18 years; proxy response for children < 12; excludes institutional residents, military

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

15–19,000 adults 17+ years/personal interviews and phone/annual, in 2-year cohort panels

EQ-5D in 2000–03, SF-12 2000–present, ADL, IADL, functional disabilities, usual activities, chronic conditions

85–88% (2001) EQ-5D and SF-12 self-administered in mail survey

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

~300,000 adults 18+/telephone/annual, continuous

SRHS, “Healthy Days” measure

53% (median); range: 32–66%; conducted within each state by health department

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

~5,000 adults and children/personal interview, physical exam, lab tests/annual

“Health Days” questions administered to all participants 12+ years

Each survey focused on particular health problem in addition to core data

Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey

~16,000 Medicare beneficiaries/personal interview/annual

SRHS, ADL, IADL, chronic conditions


Medicare Health Outcomes Survey

~200,000 initially, 60,000 follow-up (longitudinal)/mail with phone follow-up/annual

SRHS, “Healthy Days,” SF-36, ADL, chronic conditions

Survey of Medicare beneficiaries in managed care plans; 1,000 respondents/plan

Medicare Fee-for-Service CAHPS

~200,000/mail with phone follow-up/annual


600 Medicare beneficiaries in each geographic area

Medicare+ Choice CAHPS

~200,000/mail with phone follow-up/annual


600 managed care enrollees per plan area

NOTES: ADL = activities of daily living; IADL = immediate activities of daily living; LE = life expectancy; SRHS = self-reported health status; Healthy Days measure: core includes four questions encompassing SRHS, number of physically and/or mentally unhealthy days within the past month, and restricted activity days within the past month.

SOURCES: Fleishman and Lawrence (2004); Haffer (2004); Moriarty (2004); CDC (2005); NCHS (2005).

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