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Person—need for assistance with activities in a life area, disability flag code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termAssistance with activities (Standardised Disability Flag)
METeOR identifier:Help on this term520803
Registration status:Help on this termDisability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013
Definition:Help on this termThe level of help and/or supervision a person requires (or would require if the person currently helping/supervising was not available) to perform tasks and actions in a specified life area, as represented by a code.
Context:Help on this termThe Standardised Disability Flag aims to identify people with activity limitations through a functional/needs assessment approach across specified activity and participation life areas.
Data Element Concept:Person—need for assistance with activities in a life area

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
ValueMeaning
1Always/sometimes need help and/or supervision
2Have difficulty, but don't need help/supervision
3Don't have difficulty, but use aids/equipment/medications
4Have no difficulty

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Activity is limited when an individual, in the context of a health condition, either has need for assistance in performing an activity in an expected manner, or cannot perform the activity at all.

CODE 1 is used when the person always needs or sometimes needs help or supervision in this life area.
CODE 2 is used when the person has difficulty but does not need help or supervision in this life area.
CODE 3 is used when the person does not have difficulty in this life area, but uses aids, equipment and/or medications.
CODE 4 is used when the person has no difficulty in this life area and does not need help or supervision and does not use aids, equipment or medications.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this termAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

This data element, along with Person—activity and participation life area, disability flag code N, enables an assessment of a person's level of difficulty and need for assistance in life areas, leading to classification of level of activity limitation.

In the context of health, an activity is the execution of a task or action by an individual. An activity limitation is a difficulty an individual may have in executing an activity. Activity limitation varies with the environment, and is assessed in relation to a particular environment; the absence or presence of assistance, including aids, equipment and/or medications, is an aspect of the environment.

Collection methods:Help on this term

This data element is designed for the whole mainstream population and should be used to collect information from the respondent, or a proxy/carer answering on their behalf. The responses are phrased in response to the question 'For each of the following activities, do you need help/supervision, have difficulty, or use aids/equipment/medications? (choose one answer for each row)'.


Where a life area includes a range of examples, (for example, ‘Self-care’ lists showering or bathing, dressing or undressing, toileting, eating food), if a person requires assistance in more than one of these areas, record the highest level of assistance needed.


Where need for assistance varies markedly over time (for example, episodic psychiatric conditions), record the average level of assistance needed.


Animals used for personal mobility (for example, guide dogs and companion animals) are considered to be aids and/or equipment. Also included in this category are prosthetic and orthotic devices, wheelchairs, transfer devices, etc.


For the ‘Communication’ life area, a person’s level of difficulty is assessed in terms of whether they can understand, or be understood, in their native language or preferred method of communication. This can include both written and verbal communication and it does not refer to situations where the respondent can’t read or write because they did not have an opportunity to access education. Interpreters for language are considered to provide personal assistance, and are not considered aids and/or equipment.

Comments:Help on this term

Note that this is seeking to identify if, due to a long-term health condition or disability, a person cannot undertake everyday activities that other people in a similar age group would normally be able to carry out.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Person—activity and participation life area, disability flag code N Health, Standard 28/04/2016, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013

Is used in the formation of Person—activity limitation, disability flag code N Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013

Is used in the formation of Person—extent of activity limitation, disability flag code N Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013

Is used in the formation of Person—extent of core activity limitation, disability flag code N Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term

Activity and participation need for assistance cluster (disability flag) Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 19/09/2013

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