This Irish Health Survey publication relating to “Disabilities” provides data and insights on the self-reported health status of persons with disabilities in Ireland and the extent to which they can rely on informal social supports (assistance from neighbours for example). The publication also outlines, for those aged 55 years and older, the extent to which persons with disabilities experience difficulties with certain personal care and household activities.
The data is this publication was collected as part of the “Irish Health Survey”, the data for which was collected in 2019 and early 2020. The first health survey was collected for reference year 2015, but in a different way to how the data was collected for this publication – more detail on this follows below. The detail in this publication is a subset of the broader data collected, and the “Main Results” publication was published on December 11th. On December 7th, a publication on “Carers and Social Supports” was published, and this publication will outline various aspects of the self-reported health status of persons with disabilities in Ireland.
The detail in this publication is based on self-reported data from persons aged 15 years and over who experience certain physical and sensory difficulties (which are listed below) and outlines their view of their health status, the informal social supports available to them, and the extent to which they encounter (for persons aged 55 years and over) difficulties in performing personal care (for example, eating, dressing themselves, showering) or household activities (for example, performing housework or shopping). It looks at the list of physical and sensory activities (sight, hearing, walking, etc.) by whether the person has a lot of difficulty with the activity or cannot do the activity at all. Accordingly, the definition of disability in this publication is those persons that have a lot of a difficulty with an activity (e.g. seeing) or cannot do the activity at all. The data collection for this publication was conducted between July 2019 and February 2020 and accordingly relates to the pre-pandemic health and other experiences of respondents.
Physical and sensory difficulties
Note on methodology and 2019 & 2015 Irish Health Survey results:
This publication outlines the results of the 2019 Irish Health Survey as it relates to persons with disabilities. The survey data was collected via an interviewer administered interview where respondents were asked questions on their health status and health experiences. There is a risk when asking sensitive questions that some form of “social desirability bias” may be present, where the respondent may not feel entirely comfortable in giving an ‘accurate’ picture of their experiences. Additionally, it is important to note that respondents are being asked detailed health and other questions which may have led to some comprehension or recall issues, despite the best efforts of our field staff in assisting with the completion of the survey. It is the respondent’s own account of their health and other experiences which are being reported in this publication. It may be the case that some of this understanding could differ to what their medical professional would record. Accordingly, users are asked to exercise judgement in the analysis of the data in this publication and to be aware of the underlying methodology of the survey. The 2015 Irish Health Survey was administered via a self-completion questionnaire. Given this fundamental difference in how the data was collected in 2015 & 2019, any direct comparison between the 2019 results in this publication and the 2015 results available on the CSO website would need careful consideration.
Of persons with a disability aged 15 years and over:
Of persons with a disability aged 55 years and over:
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