Everyday Life and Health Survey (VQS) : limitations on activities and self-perceived disability are not necessarily linked

Loïc Midy, division Enquêtes et études démographiques, Insee

One in ten residents of metropolitan France living at home reports a self-perceived disability, according to the 2007 Everyday Life and Health Survey (Enquête Vie Quotidienne et Santé: VQS). This self-perception is, of course, often linked to a limitation on activities or to difficulties in performing certain tasks. However, the number of persons reporting limitations on their activities is twice as high as the number of persons with a self-perceived disability. Over age 60, respondents may tend to link their functional limitations to ageing and not to a disability. Self-perception of disability is more common among men than among women up to age 40. The types of functional limitations described differ: women are more likely to report motor limitations, while men are more likely to report sensory limitations. The types of impediments and their severity influence the perception of disability. Motor and sensory functional limitations on tasks such as walking, climbing up one flight of stairs, speaking, or hearing are the strongest determinants of the propensity to report a disability. On a comparable gender and age-structure basis, a higher percentage of persons report major impediments in performing certain tasks in French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Réunion than in other French regions. By contrast, the inhabitants of the first three areas are less likely to describe themselves as disabled.

Insee Première N° 1254
No 1254
Paru le : 13/08/2009