Send to

Choose Destination
Age Ageing. 2011 Jan;40(1):85-90. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afq124. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Comparison of centre and home-based health assessments: early experience from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

Author information

Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.



some cohort studies of ageing and health supplement questionnaire-based surveys with in-home measurements of biological parameters and others have required respondents to attend assessment centres. Centre-based assessments facilitate detailed measurements and novel technologies, but may differentially influence participation. The aim of this paper is to compare the characteristics of participants who attended a centre with those who chose a home assessment and those who did not have a health assessment.


trained field workers administered a computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) to a random sample of community-dwelling people aged 50 and over in the participants' homes. All questionnaire respondents were invited to attend an assessment centre for a comprehensive physical assessment. Participants who refused or were unable to attend a centre were offered a home assessment.


of the 291 participants who completed the CAPI, 176 had a health assessment: 138 in an assessment centre and 38 in their own home. The centre, home and no visit respondents differed in demographic characteristics, behavioural factors, physical functioning and health. Lower socio-economic status, physical inactivity and current smoking were the most robust predictors of non-participation in the health assessment. Home respondents had the highest levels of physical disability and were much weaker (grip strength) and slower (walking speed) than centre respondents.


home and centre physical assessments are required to avoid systematically over-representing healthier and wealthier respondents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center