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Race, disability and assistive devices: sociodemographics or discrimination

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This research provides empirically-based, detailed information on race as a determinant of the relationship between chronic illness/disability and assistive device use by elderly persons. The database is the 1994 wave of the National Long Term Care Survey. The important findings are: whites are more likely to use home modification devices and blacks are more likely to use portable devices; chronic conditions vary in their influence on the use of assistive devices; the joint presence of diabetes, heart conditions or hypertension with ADLs and IADLs motivates greater assistive device use; the relationships between chronic health conditions and assistive device use vary by race; for blacks, income has the largest impact on assistive device purchases; half of the racial differences in the probability of using assistive devices is explained by differences in sociodemographic characteristics and the rest is explained, in part, by discrimination.
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Keywords: Disabled people; Discrimination; Equal opportunities; Health care

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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