Table 2

Constructs and instruments in DEGS1
Construct Instrument/Method Data collection mode Information obtained for all study participants Comparable information available from GNHIES98
Self-reported morbidity
Presence of any long-standing illness MEHM [35] SFQ yes no
Medical history including family history Self-developed closed-ended questions CAPI yes yes
(except for family history)
Lifetime history of selected childhood diseases and vaccinations Self-developed closed-ended questions; taking copies of immunization records CAPI yes yes
Information obtained from immunization records
Medication use
Current medication use (past 7 days) On-site medication review and automated barcoding [8] AmEDa yes yes
Objective health measures
Body weight and height Portable electronic scales(SECA, Germany), stadiometer (Holtain, UK); accuracy of measurement: 0.1 kg and 0.1 cm M/T yes yes
Waist and hip circumference Flexible, non-stretchable measurement tape (Siber Hegner, Switzerland); accuracy of measurement: 0.5 cm M/T yes yes
Blood pressure and heart rate Automated blood pressure device (Datascope Accutor Plus, The Netherlands) M/T yes yes
(instrument change)
Thyroid volume Ultrasound (USD 200 Sirius, ROI Medical Systems, Germany) M/T yes no
Biochemical measures Complete blood counta, clinical chemistry, immunology and allergic sensitization immunoassaysb, spot urine dipstickc, special serum and urine analysesd M/T yes yes
(change in methods for some measures)
Symptoms and complaints
Physical symptoms (past 7 days) SCL-90-R, 12-item somatization scale [36] SFQ yes no
Joint pain (past 12 months; past 24 hours) Closed-ended questions adapted from RADAI [37] SFQ yes no
Pain intensity and interference with activities of daily life (past 4 weeks) SF-36 [38,39] SFQ yes yes (SF-36 version 1.0) [40]
Sleep duration and sleep disorders Closed-ended questions adapted from PSQI [41] SFQ yes no
Urinary incontinence Self-developed single closed-ended question SFQ yes no
Mental Health
Depressive symptoms PHQ-9 [42,43] SFQ yes no
(past 2 weeks)
Chronic stress 12-item TICS screening-Scale [44,45] SFQ participants 18–64 years no
(past 3 months)
Vitality Vitality subscale, SF-36 version 2.0 [38,39] SFQ yes yes (SF-36 version 1.0) [40]
Mental distress MHI-5 [46] SFQ yes yes (SF-36 version 1.0) [40]
Psychological distress attributed to critical life events Closed-ended questions adapted from DEAS 2002 [47] SFQ yes no
Assaults and aggressive behavior (past 12 months and life time history since age 16 years) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ participants 18–64 years no
Subjective health
Self-rated health status MEHM [35] SFQ yes SF-36 version 1.0 [40]
SF-36 version 2.0 [38,39]
Health-related quality of life SF-36 version 2.0 [38,39] SFQ yes SF-36 version 1.0 [40]
Gender-specific health issues
Benign prostate disease Self-developed closed-ended single question SFQ men of all age goups no
Women’s health (reproductive history, hysterectomy, contraceptive use, postmenopausal hormone therapy) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ women of all age groups no
Injuries
Injuries requiring medical treatment (past 12 months) Self-developed closed-ended single question SFQ yes yes
History of fractures (since age 50 years, selected locations, associated degree of trauma) Closed-ended questions adapted from European Osteoporosis Study [48] SFQ participants 65 years and older no
Falls
History of falls (past 12 months, past 4 weeks,); fear of falls Closed-ended questions adapted from Prevention of Falls Network Europe consensus [49] SFQ participants 65 years and older no
Functional capacities
Visual and hearing impairment Closed-ended questions adapted from DEAS 2002 and ECHIM Project [47,50] SFQ yes no
Aerobic fitness Submaximal endurance bicycle ergometer testing based on heart rate and lactic acid measurements [51,52] M/T participants 18–64 years no
Isometric hand grip strength Smedley, S dynamometer M/T participants 65 years and older no
(Stoelting Co.Illinois, USA) [53,54]
Mobility Timed “Up & Go” [55] M/T participants 65 years and older no
Balance and lower extremity strength Balance test sequence, five-chair rise [56-58] M/T participants 65 years and older no
Cognitive functioning DSST [59,60] M/T participants 65 years and older no
Disability
Officially recognized disability Self-developed closed-ended single question SFQ yes yes
Long-standing illness interfering with activities of daily life MEHM [35,61] SFQ yes no
Physical functional limitations interfering with activities in daily life Physical functioning scale, SF-36 version 2.0 [38,39] SFQ yes SF-36 version 1.0 [40]
Health-related behavior
Dietary habits (past 4 weeks) Self-developed, validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) [16] SFQ yes FFQ (past 12 months; less food items; no portion sizes)
Smoking history, passive smoking, intention to quit, nicotine dependence Self-developed closed-ended questions; FTND [62] SFQ yes (nicotine dependence restricted to participants 18–64 years) yes
(except for FTND and intention to quit)
Alcohol consumption (frequency and amount) Closed-ended self-developed questions; AUDIT-C, BASIC [63] SFQ yes yes (except AUDIT, BASIC)
Physical activity and sports activities Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes partly
Media use (hours per day on average) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes no
Living and social conditions
Self-perceived social support 3-item Oslo scale [64] SFQ yes no
Level and type of support with activities of daily life Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ participants 65 years and older no
Caregiving (duration; caregiver burden) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes no
Housing conditions (size and type of housing; indoor mold; noise and traffic exposure) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes yes
Working conditions (hours of work per week; shift or night work) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ participants 18–64 years yes
Socio-demographic context variables
Age, year of birth, marital status, household size, current family structure, residence in former GDR as of 1988 Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes yes
Immigration background Closed-ended questions adapted from [65] SFQ yes yes
Education, net household income, professional status and employment history, retirement Closed-ended questions adapted from [17,18] SFQ yes yes
Health care services utilization
Type of health insurance Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes yes
Nursing care enrollment or pending application Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ participants 65 years and older no
Last time seen a doctor; number of doctor visits, emergency care visits, hospital nights, sick days, sickness leave days (past 12 months) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes yes
Participation in cancer screening programs including specific programs (ever, last time participated) Self-developed closed-ended questions CAPI yes participation in general only (no information on utilization of specific programs)
Preventive health check-up program (past 2 years) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ participants 18–64 years yes
Preventive (past 12 months) and rehabilitation services (past 3 years) Self-developed closed-ended questions SFQ yes yes
Disease-specific preventive services, procedures and diagnostic tests Self-developed closed-ended questions CAPI yes no

aCell-DYN®EmeraldTM(Abbott, Germany).

bArchitect® ci8200 (Abbott, Germany), IC1000 (ThermoFischer, prev. Phadia, Germany).

cCombur 9 Test®(Roche) and Micral-Test®(Roche).

dAntibody titer serum concentrations (hepatitis E, measles, mumps, rubella, herpes simplex type 1 and type 2, salmonella, borrelia); PCR-based diagnostic tests in serum (hepatitis B and C) and urine (chlamydia, gonorrhoea); urinary iodine (modified Sandell-Kolthoff method) [66] and salt excretion.

Abbreviations: AmEDa automated medication assessment, CAPI computer-assisted personal interview, M/T measurements and tests, SFQ self-administered questionnaire, AUDIT-C/BASIC Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test – alcohol consumption questions, Brief Alcohol Screening Instrument for Medical Care, DEAS German Aging Survey, DSST Digit Symbol Substitution Test, ECHIM European Community Health Indicator Monitoring, FTND Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, MEHM Minimum European Health Module, MHI-5 5-item Mental Health Inventory, PHQ-9 9-item depression module of the Patient Health Questionnaire, PSQI Pittsburgh sleep quality index, RADAI Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index, SCL-90-R Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, TICS Trier Inventory for the Assessment of Chronic Stress.

Scheidt-Nave et al.

Scheidt-Nave et al. BMC Public Health 2012 12:730   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-730

Open Data