The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) is a new resource for the scientific study of functioning in later life. The NHATS is being conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, with data collection by Westat, and support from the National Institute on Aging.æ
NHATS is intended to foster research that will guide efforts to reduce disability, maximize health and independent functioning, and enhance quality of life at older ages.
The NHATS will gather information on a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older. In-person interviews will be used to collect detailed information on activities of daily life, living arrangements, economic status and well-being, aspects of early life, and quality of life.æ
Among the specific content areas included are:æ
- the general and technological environment of the home
- health conditions
- work status and participation in valued activities
- mobility and use of assistive devices
- cognitive functioning
- help provided with daily activities (self-care, household, and medical).ææ
Study participants will be re-interviewed every year in order to compile a record of change over time. As the population ages, NHATS will provide the basis for understanding trends in late-life functioning, how these differ for various population subgroups, and the economic and social consequences of aging and disability for individuals, families, and society.
What impresses me about this study is that it is really holistic in its approach. It is about health in its broadest sense with the overarching goal of tracking quality of life.æ