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Chapter 3 - Adults who have offset from impairment

Released: 15 November 2012 Download PDF

Chapter 3 – Adults who have offset from impairment

This data was revised on April 10th 2014

This section provides information about adults who have experienced impairment offset; that is, they reported at least one impairment at Wave One but no impairment was reported at Wave Two. Offset rates for these adults are presented by demographic characteristics as well as the types of impairments that were experienced by these adults at Wave One and the extent of severity of these impairments.

3.1 Offset rates for adults who did not report any impairment at Wave Two

Longitudinal survey data allow offset rates, or the percentage of the population who have changed from reporting at least one impairment to not reporting any impairment, to be calculated. Approximately a third (34%) of all adults who had an impairment at Wave One had no impairment at Wave Two. At Wave One, 29% of adults had an impairment.1

Tables 3.1 and 3.2 give overall offset rates2 within the following demographic characteristics as reported at Wave One3: sex, age, ethnicity, region of residence, tenure of residence, highest qualification attained and NS-SEC (National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification) and where the sample size permits, these are split by working age (16 to 64) and 65 and over. Overall offset rates by demographic characteristic will also be affected by the different types of impairment reported as offset rates by type of impairment as outlined later in this chapter.

For each category of the characteristic, the offset rate has been calculated as the percentage of adults in that category who no longer reported any impairment at Wave Two, among all adults who reported at least one impairment at Wave One. Table 3.1 shows the offset rate was 35% for men. Thus, 35% of all men who reported at least one impairment at Wave One no longer reported any impairment at Wave Two. The corresponding figure was 33% for women.

The offset rate suggests that the likelihood of offsetting from an impairment decreases with age. Fifty per cent of all adults aged 16 to 24 who reported at least one impairment at Wave One no longer reported any impairment at Wave Two. In contrast, only 21% of those aged 75 and over who reported at least one impairment at Wave One no longer reported any impairment at Wave Two. Overall, the offset rate is higher for all who were of working age (16 to 64), at 38%, than for those 65 and over, at 25%. This reflects the overall effect of age on offset rates. Across the regions, the offset rate was highest in West Midlands, South East and London, and lowest in Wales.

Table 3.1, Offset rates by sex, age, ethnicity and region of residence at Wave One, and by age [1]

Per cent
  Offset Rate
  Working Age (16-64) 65 and over Total
Sex      
   Male 39 27 35
   Female 38 24 33
Age      
   16 to 24 50 n/a 50
   25 to 44 42 n/a 42
   45 to 64 34 n/a 34
   65 to 74 n/a 29 29
   75 and over n/a 21 21
       
   Working age (16-64) 38   38
   65 and over   25 25
Ethnicity      
   White 38 25 33
   Non-White 43 23 40
Region      
   England 40 25 35
   North East (inc. Yorkshire and Humber) 37 22 32
   North West (inc. Merseyside) 39 22 33
   East Midlands 39 21 33
   West Midlands 44 28 38
   East of England 36 25 32
   London 41 24 37
   South East 43 28 38
   South West 39 29 35
   Wales 29 20 26
   Scotland 34 29 32
       
   Urban 38 25 34
   Rural 41 24 34

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. See Appendix 8 for sample size.
  2. n/a - Not Applicable.
  3. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  4. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Table 3.2 shows that the offset rate is highest for adults buying their home with the help of a mortgage or loan (44%). The offset rate is lowest (19%) for adults aged 65 and over who rent and highest for those of working age buying their property with the help of a mortgage or loan (45%). This may reflect some influence of respondents NS-SEC status, with those in higher categories either owning their property or having a mortgage whilst those in lower categories are renting. Additionally, differences in the underlying age distributions may influence the overall offset rates seen across tenure categories. For example, people living in accommodation owned outright tend to be older than those buying their property with a mortgage or loan. This may contribute to the lower overall offset rate among people living in accommodation owned outright (32%), compared with the offset rate for those living in mortgaged accommodation (44%).

Higher offset rates were observed for those with higher qualifications; for example, those with degree level qualifications (45%) had a higher offset rate than those with no formal qualifications (27%). There is much evidence of an association between education and general health4, with higher levels of educational attainment linked with positive self-reported health. This finding in part supports the notion that the likelihood of impairment offset increases with the existence rather than absence of formal qualifications.

The offset rate increases with higher levels of socio-economic classification. This may be linked with education level as higher level of education often leads to higher socio-economic levels. The offset rates are lowest for those in semi-routine and routine occupations (30%).  For the 65 and over age group, this pattern is less pronounced. It is likely that above a certain age, it is age or the specific impairment type that is the key factor to offsetting rather than education or occupation classification.

Table 3.2, Offset rates by tenure, highest qualification [1] and NS-SEC [2] at Wave One, and by age

Per cent
  Offset Rate
  Working Age (16-64) 65 and over Total
Tenure
   Own it outright 39 27 32
   Buying it with the help of a mortgage or loan 45 27 44
   Pay part rent and part mortgage (shared ownership) [56] * [48]
   Rent it 31 19 28
   Live here rent-free 34 22 28
Highest Qualification
   Degree level qualification (or equivalent) 46 32 45
   Higher educational qualification below degree level 42 41 42
   A-Levels or Highers 50 38 49
   ONC National Level BTEC 40 [55] 41
   O Level or GCSE equivalent (Grade A-C) 41 37 41
   GCSE grade D-G or CSE grade 2-5 or Standard Grade level 4.6 32 [25] 32
   Other qualifications (including foreign qualifications) 38 29 37
   No formal qualifications 27 26 27
Socio-economic classification (based on occupation)
   Higher managerial, administrative and professional  44 28 39
   Intermediate occupations 40 26 35
   Small employers and own account workers 40 27 36
   Lower supervisory and technical occupations 38 22 31
   Semi-routine and routine occupations 34 24 30

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Qualifications were asked of those aged 16 to 69.
  2. Socio-economic classification is based on current occupation. Occupation was also asked of those who are not currently employed but had last worked within the past eight years.
  3. See appendix 8 for sample size.
  4. * - Cells have been suppressed due to small cell counts.
  5. [ ] - Figures should be used with extra caution because they are based on fewer than 30 reporting individuals.
  6. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  7. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Notes for 3.1 Offset rates for adults who did not report any impairment at Wave Two

  1. Wave One Report

  2. Where sufficient sample size permits

  3. Wave One characteristics are used here for consistency with the onset rates presented in Chapter Four

  4. See Furnée CA, et al. (2008)

3.2 Impairments reported at Wave One by offset adults

LOS categorises impairments into 14 types (sight, hearing, speaking, mobility, dexterity, long-term pain, chronic health condition1, breathing, learning, intellectual, behavioural, memory, mental health condition, and ‘other’). At Wave One and Wave Two, the LOS included questions to identify the type of impairment experienced but did not collect information that would specify the underlying condition for each impairment type2.

Figure 3.1 shows that for both adults of working age (16 to 64) and those aged 65 and over, the majority (74% and 62% respectively) had only one impairment at Wave One3. This finding makes intuitive sense as those who have offset from impairment (having at least one impairment at Wave One to no impairments at all at Wave Two), would be more likely to be classified in this group if cessation of only one impairment was required, rather than three or more. This finding was more evident for those of working age than those aged 65 and over.

Figure 3.2 shows for each impairment type, the percentage of adults with impairment offset at Wave Two who reported that impairment at Wave One3. The most commonly-reported impairments at Wave One, by adults who experienced impairment offset at Wave Two were long-term pain (54%) and chronic health condition (28%), followed by mobility and dexterity impairments (at 10% and 9% respectively). Intellectual, speaking and behavioural impairments (1%, 1% and 2% respectively) were those least likely to be reported at Wave One by adults who no longer experienced any impairment at Wave Two.

Figure 3.3 shows that within the offset group, there is a difference in the impairments reported at Wave One between adults of working age (16 to 64) and adults aged 65 and over. For example a higher percentage of working age adults reported long-term pain at Wave One than adults aged 65 and over (56% compared to 49%). A similar pattern can be seen for mental health conditions and learning impairment. In contrast a higher percentage of adults aged 65 and over reported mobility impairments at Wave One than adults of working age (21% compared to 6%). A similar pattern can be seen for dexterity and hearing impairments.

Figure 3.1 Offset: Number of impairments reported at Wave One by age

Most offset adults had only 1 impairment at Wave One.
Source: Life Opportunities Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3.2 Offset: Impairment types reported at Wave One

The most common impairment types were long-term pain and chronic health condition.
Source: Life Opportunities Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Figure 3.3 Offset: Impairment types reported at Wave One, by age

Adults aged 65 and over were more likely to have mobility and dexterity impairments, while working age adults were more likely to have mental health condition and learning impairments.
Source: Life Opportunities Survey - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. * - Values suppressed due to small cell counts
  2. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  3. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Notes for 3.2 Impairments reported at Wave One by offset adults

  1. Chronic Conditions are defined as long-term conditions that have lasted or are expected to last 12 months or more and that have been diagnosed by a health professional. These include but are not limited to: Asthma or severe allergies; Heart condition or disease; Kidney condition or disease; Cancer; Diabetes; Epilepsy; Cerebral Palsy; Spina Bifida; Cystic Fibrosis; Muscular Dystrophy; Migraines; Arthritis or rheumatism; Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ; Paralysis of any kind; and Depression;
  2. LOS did collect further information for chronic condition and impairments reported in the ‘other’ category. Further analysis of these data will be included in the Wave Two Part II report.
  3. Because respondents were able to report multiple impairments the percentages do not sum to 100.

3.3 Severity of impairment reported by offset adults at Wave One

The severity of impairment is represented by both the level of difficulty and frequency of the limitation associated with the impairment . Tables 3.3 to 3.6 present these measures for the four most commonly-reported impairments (at Wave One) by adults who no longer had an impairment at Wave Two: long-term pain, chronic health condition, mobility and dexterity impairments. For each of these impairment types, the majority of adults (between 77% and 89%) reported moderate difficulty, rather than higher levels of difficulty (“severe” or “cannot do”) at Wave One.

Additionally, across all four impairment types, a large proportion of adults rated the frequency of limitation to be “sometimes” (ranging from 42% for mobility impairments to 53% for long-term pain). However, adults who had reported a chronic health condition, mobility or dexterity impairment at Wave One were more likely to rate the frequency of limitation as “always” (16%, 27% and 19% respectively) compared with adults with long-term pain (8%).

Adults aged 65 and over who experienced offset of a dexterity impairment were less likely to report “always” (15% for adults 65 and over compared with 21% for working age adults) and more likely to report “rarely” (14% compared to 6%) for the frequency of limitation than their working age equivalents. The reverse is true for those who experienced offset of a chronic health condition or mobility impairment.

Table 3.3, Offset: severity of long-term pain at Wave One, by age

Per cent
    Frequency of limitation   
  Rarely Sometimes Often Always Total    Sample size (100%)
Level of pain1            
   Working age (16-64)
          Moderate difficulty 22 42 9 4 77  
          Severe difficulty 5 12 3 3 23  
          Total 28 54 12 7   1,000
   65 and over            
          Moderate difficulty 18 41 11 7 77  
          Severe difficulty 5 9 4 5 23  
          Total 23 50 16 12   360
   All Offset            
          Moderate difficulty 21 42 9 4 77  
          Severe difficulty 5 11 4 3 23  
          Total 27 53 13 8   1,370
 

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Level of pain for long-term pain is measured by the intensity of pain – “mild”, “moderate”, or “severe”. Under the LOS definition, those who reported moderate or severe levels of pain, and rated the frequency of limitation as “rarely” or above were identified as having long-term pain.
  2. Sample sizes have been rounded independently to the nearest 10.
  3. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  4. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Table 3.4, Offset: severity of chronic health condition at Wave One, by age

Per cent
    Frequency of Limitation   
  Rarely Sometimes Often Always Total     Sample Size (100%)
Level of difficulty1            
   Working age (16-64)
          Moderate difficulty 13 47 13 7 81  
          Severe difficulty 2 7 5 5 19  
          Total 16 53 19 12   450
   65 and over            
          Moderate difficulty 9 43 14 18 84  
          Severe difficulty * 3 3 8 16  
          Total 10 46 18 27   230
   All offset            
          Moderate difficulty 12 46 14 10 82  
          Severe difficulty 2 6 5 6 18  
          Total 14 51 18 16   680

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Response categories for level of difficulty: 1. “No Difficulty”; 2. “Mild Difficulty”; 3. “Moderate Difficulty”; 4. “Severe Difficulty”; and 5. “Cannot do”; For some impairment types (chronic condition, breathing, learning, intellectual, behavioural, memory and mental impairments), the levels range from 1 to 4. For pain, the level of pain is measured by the intensity of the pain experienced: 1”Mild”; 2.”Moderate”; 3. “Severe”.
  2. * - Cells have been suppressed due to small cell counts.
  3. Sample sizes have been rounded independently to the nearest 10.
  4. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  5. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Table 3.5, Offset: severity of mobility impairment at Wave One, by age

Per cent
    Frequency of Limitation        
  Rarely Sometimes Often Always Total     Sample Size (100%)
Level of difficulty            
   Working age  16-64            
          Moderate difficulty 5 43 29 12 88  
          Severe difficulty * * 3 5 12  
          Cannot do1 * * * * *  
          Total 7 44 32 18   110
   65 and over            
          Moderate difficulty 5 40 20 24 89  
          Severe difficulty * * * 10 11  
          Cannot do * * * * *  
          Total 5 41 21 34   150
   All offset            
          Moderate difficulty 5 41 24 19 89  
          Severe difficulty * * 2 8 11  
          Cannot do * * * * *  
          Total 6 42 25 27   260

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Response categories for level of difficulty: 1. “No Difficulty”; 2. “Mild Difficulty”; 3. “Moderate Difficulty”; 4. “Severe Difficulty”; and 5. “Cannot do”; For some impairment types (chronic condition, breathing, learning, intellectual, behavioural, memory and mental impairments), the levels range from 1 to 4. For pain, the level of pain is measured by the intensity of the pain experienced: 1”Mild”; 2.”Moderate”; 3. “Severe”.
  2. * - Cells have been suppressed due to small cell counts.
  3. Sample sizes have been rounded independently to the nearest 10.
  4. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  5. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Table 3.6, Offset: severity of dexterity impairment at Wave One, by age

Per cent
              Frequency of Limitation        
  Rarely Sometimes Often Always Total     Sample Size (100%)
Level of difficulty            
   Working age (16-64)
          Moderate difficulty 5 45 19 14 84  
          Severe difficulty * 6 3 5 [15]  
          Cannot do1 0 0 0 * *  
          Total 6 51 22 21   120
   65 and over            
          Moderate difficulty 12 50 13 10 85  
          Severe difficulty * * 4 4 11  
          Cannot do 0 * 0 * [4]  
          Total 14 54 17 15   100
   All offset            
          Moderate difficulty 8 47 16 12 84  
          Severe difficulty 1 4 16 5 13  
          Cannot do 0 * 0 2 [2]  
          Total 9 52 20 19   230

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. Response categories for level of difficulty: 1. “No Difficulty”; 2. “Mild Difficulty”; 3. “Moderate Difficulty”; 4. “Severe Difficulty”; and 5. “Cannot do”; For some impairment types (chronic condition, breathing, learning, intellectual, behavioural, memory and mental impairments), the levels range from 1 to 4. For pain, the level of pain is measured by the intensity of the pain experienced: 1”Mild”; 2.”Moderate”; 3. “Severe”.
  2. * - Cells have been suppressed due to small cell counts.
  3. [] Figures should be used with extra caution because they are based on fewer than 30 reporting individuals.
  4. 0 Less than 0.5 per cent, including none.
  5. Sample sizes have been rounded independently to the nearest 10.
  6. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  7. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Notes for 3.3 Severity of impairment reported by offset adults at Wave One

  1. Response categories for level of difficulty: 1. “No Difficulty”; 2. “Mild Difficulty”; 3.” Moderate Difficulty” 4; “Severe Difficulty”; and 5. “Cannot Do”; For some impairment types (chronic condition, breathing, learning, intellectual, behavioural, memory, and mental health impairments), the levels range from 1 to 4. For pain, the level of pain is measured by the intensity of the pain experienced: 1.”Mild”; 2.”Moderate”; 3. “Severe”.

3.4 Offset rates by impairment type: Offset adults

Longitudinal survey data also allow the offset rate of each impairment type to be calculated. Table 3.7 shows the offset rate of each impairment for adults who no longer reported any impairment at Wave Two. The offset rate is calculated as the percentage of all adults who reported that impairment at Wave One, who no longer reported that impairment (or any other impairments or health conditions) at Wave Two. Adults with impairment at both waves can also experience an offset of a specific impairment; these adults are not included in this analysis. The offset rates by impairment types for adults with impairment at both waves can be found in Section 2.3.

Adults of working age (16 to 64) were more likely to experience offset of sight impairment and long-term pain than adults aged 65 and over. There is very little difference in the offset rates between these two age groups for mobility, learning and memory impairments.

Looking at the overall offset rates for impairments, the highest offset rate was for long-term pain (30%). For all impairment types offset may be due to a genuine cessation of impairment at Wave Two, a change in the perception of the impairment, or a change in treatment received for the impairment. At Wave Three the LOS questionnaire will collect information about the offset from impairment and will aim to offer greater insight into the reasons for impairment offset.

Table 3.7, Offset: offset rates of impairment types, by age [1]

  Offset rate in per cent
Impairment types Working Age (16-64) 65 and over Total
Mobility 10 12 11
Dexterity 17 14 15
Speaking 17 7 15
Intellectual 17 8 16
Breathing 21 14 17
Memory 18 18 18
Behavioural 21 15 20
Mental health condition 22 17 21
Chronic  health condition 25 15 21
Other impairment 22 20 22
Hearing 30 24 26
Sight 37 17 27
Learning 29 28 29
Long-term pain 35 19 30

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. See Appendix 8 for sample sizes.
  2. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  3. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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3.5 Offset of impairment due to a reduction in severity

According to the LOS definition, an adult is classified as having an impairment if he/she reports an impairment and experiences more than ‘mild’ difficulty and a degree of limitation as a consequence of the impairment. It is therefore possible that some instances of impairment offset identified at Wave Two may be a result of a change in the level of difficulty reported for the impairment to ‘mild’ rather than the complete cessation of an impairment between Wave One and Wave Two.

For example, an adult who reported a mobility impairment and recorded experiencing ‘severe’ difficulty at Wave One would have been classified by LOS as an adult with impairment. If at Wave Two the same adult again reported the mobility impairment but the difficulty level was reduced to ‘mild’, LOS would classify this adult as no longer having a mobility impairment at Wave Two.

It is therefore possible for impairment offset to occur as a result of a decrease in severity. Table 3.8 shows the offset rate for adults who experienced an offset of impairment at Wave Two because the difficulty level was reduced to ‘mild’ (offset to mild), as well as the offset rate for adults who experienced impairment offset at Wave Two because they no longer reported that impairment (complete offset). These figures, in Table 3.8, are presented alongside the overall offset rates from Table 3.7. The impairment types in Table 3.8 have been selected due to their high overall offset rates or high “offset to mild” rate; for this reason, the four most commonly-reported impairments, and sight impairment (for seeing close objects) are presented.

‘Offset to mild’ only explains a small proportion of the overall offset rate for both working age adults and adults aged 65 and over for long-term pain and dexterity impairment. However, adults aged 65 and over who reported a chronic health condition were more than twice as likely to ‘offset to mild’ (11%) than experience ‘complete offset’ (4%), whereas the two offset rates for chronic health condition for adults of working age were very similar (12% for offset to mild and 13% for complete offset). For mobility impairment, around a third of working age adults who reported offset had offset to ‘mild’ (3% compared with overall offset rate of 10%), whereas it was around half for those aged 65 and over (6% experienced offset to mild compared with overall offset rate of 12%).

In contrast, the offset to mild and complete offset rates for sight impairment (for seeing close objects), a large proportion of offset can be explained by a decrease in the level of difficulty experienced: it is possible that this may arise from improvements in equipment used such as glasses, although this information is not available from LOS. Similar results were found for sight impairment (for seeing distant objects). Corresponding figures for this and other impairment or health condition types can be found in Appendix 6.

Table 3.8, Offset: offset due to mild difficulty at Wave Two, by age

Per cent
           
  Overall offset rate (all offset adults) Offset to mild ('mild difficulty' reported at Wave Two Complete offset (impairment not reported at Wave Two) Sample size (100%)
Long-term pain        
Working age (16-64) 35 6 29 2,880
65 and over  19 4 15 1,770
Total 30 5 24 4,650
         
Chronic health condition        
Working age (16-64) 25 12 13 1,840
65 and over  15 11 4 1,420
Total 21 12 10 3,260
         
Mobility        
Working age (16-64) 10 3 8 960
65 and over  12 6 7 1,210
Total 11 4 7 2,170
         
Dexterity        
Working age (16-64) 17 3 14 740
65 and over  14 3 11 710
Total 15 3 13 1,450
         
Sight (close objects)        
Working age (16-64) 36 32 5 320
65 and over  17 15 2 360
Total 27 24 3 680

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. All percentages have been rounded to the nearest 1.
  2. This data was revised on April 10th 2014.

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Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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