Estimation of local disability schedules: an evaluation of relational models

Alan David Marshall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Local information on the age-specific prevalence of disability, distinguishing disability type, is important for planning purposes to inform the provision of specialist services appropriate to the needs of those at different ages. Projections of disability,which require estimates of age-specific rates of disability as their base, are valuable as they enable planners to prepare for future service demands. However, in the UK, estimates that include detail of disability type, age, and sex are not reliably available for sub-national areas. This paper evaluates relational models, a technique originally developed for the estimation of age specific mortality rates, as a potential solution to this information gap. Relational models are shown to be as successful in capturing subnational variability in levels of disability as individual-level synthetic regression models. The relational approach has important advantages over more commonly used individual-level synthetic regression models in terms of parsimony of parameters and assumptions. As such, relational models offer a
    valuable new approach for health researchers and policymakers interested in the estimation of local age-specific rates of disability and more generally other health-related characteristics with rates that follow mortality-like age patterns.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)537–557
    Number of pages21
    JournalPopulation, Space and Place
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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