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Difficulty with self-care (Washington group)

Codes and Frequencies

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WGCARE indicates the person's level of difficulty in caring for herself or himself, related to activities such as dressing or bathing.

Comparability — Index


Comparability — General

The coding structure in WGCARE follows recommendations from the United Nations Washington Group on Disability Statistics, which developed a set questions to assess degrees of functional difficulty across a range of basic activities. The questions aim to circumvent the stigma and ambiguity often associated with traditional yes-no questions on disability, which are harder to interpret with respect to expectations of functionality.

The Washington Group proposes a framework that identifies four levels of difficulty. Some countries deviate from the recommended four levels. The country specific comparability sections describe how these alternative scales are interpreted and harmonized into WGCARE.

The information on the traditional (yes/no) questions to report a disability in the form of any permanent condition that made it difficult taking care of personal needs is available in DISCARE.

Comparability — Indonesia [top]

The 2010 sample uses a 3-level scale: no difficulty, slight difficulty, and severe difficulty. In WGCARE, slight difficulty is interpreted as "some difficulty" and severe is harmonized into "cannot do at all" (even though it likely includes those individuals with "a lot of difficulty"). More details are available in the enumeration instructions for Indonesia 2010.


  • Indonesia 2010: Persons in regular enumeration areas
  • Mauritius 2011: All persons
  • Morocco 2014: All persons
  • Senegal 2013: Residents age 1+ in ordinary households
  • South Africa 2011: Persons in private households
  • South Africa 2016: Persons age 5+
  • Suriname 2012: All persons
  • Tanzania 2012: All persons


  • Indonesia: 2010
  • Mauritius: 2011
  • Morocco: 2014
  • Senegal: 2013
  • South Africa: 2011, 2016
  • Suriname: 2012
  • Tanzania: 2012