Development of a relational model of disability

Alan David Marshall, Paul Norman, Ian Plewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-specific rates of particular disability types are important for planning purposes and are a valuable input to estimates and projections of populationswith different disabilities. However, survey estimates of schedules of disability rates display evidence of sampling variability and sub-national disability schedules are often unavailable for reasons of disclosure protection. This paper develops and evaluates a method to smooth sampling variability in national schedules of disability using a technique that has applicability to sub-national estimation of age-specific disability rates. Relational models are used to adjust the limiting long-term illness schedule for England (Census 2001) to represent different disability schedules (Health Survey for England 2000/2001) smoothing sampling fluctuations. For hearing disability a simple Brass relational model involving two parameters pro-vides a good fit. For other disability types a modified version of the Ewbank relational model with three parameters is required. This paper illustrates that relational models can accurately capture the relationship between age-specific rates of limiting long-term illness and various disability types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-491
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean journal of population
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2013


  • relational model
  • disability
  • limiting long term illness
  • estimation
  • schedules

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