1994 Supplement on Aging (SOA II)

Survey Description

The Second Supplement on Aging (SOA II) is a collaborative effort of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the National Institute on AgingExternal (NIA). The SOA II replicates the first SOA roughly 10 years later with a new cohort of persons 70 years of age and over. Because the SOA II closely replicates the SOA in its methodology and content, it is uniquely poised to provide the data necessary for analyzing important temporal changes in health and functioning among older Americans. The SOA II was conducted as part of the Phase II National Health Interview Survey on Disability (NHIS-D), a followup supplement to the 1994 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The sample is nationally representative and comprised of 9,447 civilian noninstitutionalized persons who were 70 years of age and over at the time of the SOA II interview. Data were obtained through personal interviews in the household, collected by U.S. Census Bureau interviewers.

The SOA II has four specific aims:

  • to provide a replication of the first SOA in order to determine whether there have been changes in the level of disability among older persons between 1984 and the mid-1990s. Availability of replicated health and functioning measures and their covariates collected on two distinct cohorts will enable researchers to evaluate whether the prevalence of disability or the factors associated with disability are different for the current cohort of women and men age 70 years and over compared with the cohort who were age 70 years and over 10 years prior,
  • to provide information on the causes and correlates of changes in health and functioning in older Americans, including background demographic characteristics, health behaviors and attitudes, preexisting illness, and social and environmental support,
  • to provide information on the sequence and consequences of health events, including utilization of health care and services for assisted community living; on the physiological consequences of disability such as pain and fatigue; on social consequences such as changes in social activities, living arrangements, social support, and use of community services; and on the deployment of assisted living strategies, and accessibility of technological and environmental adaptations, and
  • to serve as the baseline for the first national second generation prospective study focusing on older Americans, the Second Longitudinal Study of Aging (LSOA II).

Data File Contents

The SOA II data file contains information from several sources, including the 1994 NHIS core questionnaire, the 1994 Family Resources Supplement, and Phase I of the 1994 National Health Interview Survey on Disability. Below is an overview of data file variables at a glance:

1994 National Health Interview Survey

  • Demographic characteristics (including age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, veteran status, major activity, education, and family income)
  • Limitation of activities (long term)
  • Restriction of activities (2 weeks)
  • Bed-days (previous year and 2 weeks)
  • Chronic conditions and impairments (long term)
  • Acute conditions (2 weeks)
  • Doctor visits (previous year and 2 weeks)
  • Hospital stays (previous year)

1994 Family Resources Supplement

  • Unmet need for care
  • Reasons for unmet need for care

1994 National Health Interview Survey on Disability, Phase I

  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse
  • Limitation due to mental health
  • Receipt of services for mental health
  • Unmet need for mental health services
  • Reasons for unmet need for mental health services
  • Unmet need for other health services

1994 Second Supplement on Aging

  • Family structure, relationships, and living arrangements
  • Housing and long-term care
  • Relationships, social contacts, and social activity
  • Physical functioning, including ADLs, IADLs, and Nagi activities
  • Chronic conditions and impairments
  • Health opinions and behaviors
  • Use of health, personal care, and social services
  • Use of assistive devices and technologies
  • Health insurance
  • Employment history
  • Transportation

NOTE: The questionnaires administered during the NHIS-D Phase II/ SOA II interview were designed to be fully comprehensive; hence, with the exception of a few demographic and background characteristics, all questions considered to be critical to the objectives of the NHIS-D and the SOA II were included in the Phase II questionnaires. There are a number of questions from the 1994 NHIS core interview and supplements that are thought to be complementary to the data obtained at Phase II, however, and these measures are included in the SOA II file. Data users must always keep in mind, therefore, that data from the 1994 NHIS core, 1994 Family Resources Supplement, and 1994 Phase I NHIS-D were collected at an earlier point in time (7-17 months) than data from the Phase II questionnaires and may have been provided by a respondent other than the sample person and other than the respondent for Phase II.

Geographic Coverage

The SOA II sample is representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population 70 years of age and over at mid-year 1995. Baseline geographic indicators include the four major census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West), type of primary sampling unit (based on 1970 census), and SMSA/Non-SMSA residence status.

Data Availability

The latest version of the SOA II is available on CD-ROM: The Second Supplement on Aging, 1994, Version 2, No. 1 (issued September 1998). This CD-ROM includes all data listed above under Data File Contents . To request a copy of the CD-ROM or diskettes, e-mail cdcinfo@cdc.gov or telephone (301) 458-INFO.

Related Reports and the SOA II Questionnaire

To date, no detailed description of the SOA II has been published, however, the codebook accompanying the SOA II data file on CD-ROM contains a comprehensive overview of the sample design and survey methodology.

Page last reviewed: November 6, 2015