The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 4 449-453, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America
Assessing the health of individuals and populations in surveys of the elderly: some concepts and approaches
College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.
Most health survey research in devoted to assessing the health of
individuals in a defined population. Various measures include the
prevalence and incidence of diseases, signs and symptoms, functional
states, and use of health services. However, assessing individual biologic
robustness can be problematic, and some suggestions for testable approaches
are offered. Additionally, there are characteristics of the health of
populations or communities, not referent to individual constituents, that
have been underutilized. These include measures of the physical, social,
and health service environment.