Conceptualization and Measurement of Physiologic Health for Adults

Vol. 10, Joint Disorders

by Bonnie Scott, Robert H. Brook, Kathleen N. Lohr, George A. Goldberg

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Joint disorders, in the form of arthritis, are among the more common ailments in the United States. Data on their prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Study (HIS) to investigate the effect of different levels of health insurance on health and on the quality of medical care. Joint disorders were chosen for this purpose because they are very common, are a leading cause of disability, and have adverse effects on health that can often be lessened by good medical care. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, outlines the HIS definition of joint disorders, describes HIS methods for measuring their presence and severity, discusses results from the HIS population at enrollment, and lists criteria for good medical care for joint disorders. Illustrative findings include: One-fourth of HIS participants had a joint disorder; one-third of these reported at least a little activity limitation due to their joint problems.

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