Measuring health status: Self-, interviewer, and physician reports of overall health

Kimberly V. Smith, Noreen Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines and compares respondent, interviewer, and physician ratings of overall health. Method: Data are from the 2006 Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study, a nationally representative survey of older adults in Taiwan. Ordered probit models are used to examine factors associated with self- and external assessments of health and discordant health ratings. Results: Our results suggest similarities and differences in factors influencing health ratings across evaluators but a high level of interevaluator disagreement in ratings. Discrepancies in ratings between physicians and both respondents and interviewers are associated with the greater weight given to functional limitations and psychological well-being in interviewer and respondent ratings and to the importance of clinical measures or risk factors of illness and mortality in physician assessments. Discussion: Interviewer and physician assessments may be complementary to self-assessed health measures. The importance and implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-266
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Aging
  • Measuring health status
  • Older adult health
  • Self-reported health
  • Taiwan


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