National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).

National Survey of Self-Care and Aging: Baseline, 1990-1991 (ICPSR 6718)

Principal Investigator(s): DeFriese, Gordon H., University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill. Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research; Norburn, Jean E. Kincade, University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill. Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research


The National Survey of Self-Care and Aging (NSSCA) was conducted during 1990 and 1991 to create a baseline database on the prevalence of self-care behaviors by noninstitutionalized older adults. Personal interviews were conducted with 3,485 individuals 65 years of age and older. Oversampling of the oldest old was employed to assure representation of those who were frail or difficult to reach. A proxy was substituted if the subject was hospitalized, too ill, or cognitively not able to respond. Questions were asked about the type and extent of self-care behaviors for activities of daily living, management of chronic conditions (through self-care activities, equipment use, and environmental modifications), medical self-care for acute conditions, and health promotion/disease preventions. Social support, health service utilization, and socio-demographic/economic variables were also included. A follow-up study was conducted in 1994 (see NATIONAL SURVEY OF SELF-CARE AND AGING: FOLLOW-UP, 1994 [ICPSR 2592]).

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


Dataset - Download All Files (47.882 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


DeFriese, Gordon H., and Jean E. Kincade Norburn. National Survey of Self-Care and Aging: Baseline, 1990-1991. ICPSR06718-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-06-22.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (#5-P20-AG09648-06)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    activities of daily living, aging, assistive devices, chronic illnesses, health care, health services utilization, independent living, older adults, self medication

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1990-09-16--1991-01-25

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990--1991

Universe:    Noninstitutionalized Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older in 1990.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data dictionary lists the variables in alphabetic order as well as by position.


Sample:    The stratified random sample of noninstitutionalized Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older was drawn from 50 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs), 38 urban and 12 rural. Stratification was by gender and three age groups (65-74, 75-84, 85 or older).

Data Source:

personal interview


Original ICPSR Release:   1996-10-01

Version History:

  • 2006-06-22 The Stata dictionary and system data files for dataset 1 were corrected to set the storage type as double for numeric variables with more than nine significant digits.
  • 2006-02-17 The data, the SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files, and the documentation have been updated.

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