Is it possible to modify the way questions are administered?

It is recommended that the response options be read aloud as part of each of the six questions as follows:

Do you have difficulty walking or climbing steps? Would you say:


  1. No, no difficulty
  2. Yes, some difficulty
  3. Yes, a lot of difficulty
  4. Cannot do it at all. 


If the six questions are asked of multiple persons in the household, the answer categories do not need to be repeated for each question once the respondent becomes familiar with them and responds using the appropriate terminology; however, it is generally useful to repeat the answer categories every 2 or 3 questions.

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) program has recently adopted a disability module that operationalizes the WG short set of questions. In order to maintain consistency with other DHS modules and the format of the DHS in general, a modification was implemented in the administration of the questions – not the content. Rather than the formulation recommended by the WG above, the DHS uses the following formulation:

I would like to know if (NAME) has difficulty walking or climbing steps. Would you say that (NAME) has no difficulty walking or climbing steps, some difficulty, a lot of difficulty, or cannot walk or climb steps at all?

Both the content of the question and the response options remain the same. This is essential in producing comparable disability statistics cross-nationally.  The possible effects of this modification are being evaluated.