The prevalence of disability in the older population is usually estimated using data from representative samples of the population that include only a small number of disabled individuals. As a consequence, the estimates rates of disability currently available should be considered only rough approximations. To overcome these problems, some authors have proposed that larger samples of older, disabled persons should be studied using a two-stages screening sequential design. We report the results of a pilot study aimed at creating and validating a brief questionnaire for the screening of individuals who need formal and informal care in the older population. The pilot study was conducted in the context of the DOMUS project. The tool created and validated will be used in the future to conduct a large survey on health and social needs of the elderly in the Italian population.
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