The researchers interviewed the women in their homes at the beginning of the study and then again every 6 months for 3 years. During the first interview, the researchers asked questions about pain. In response, many women reported having moderate to severe pain in the arms, legs, and back, which the researchers called “widespread musculoskeletal pain.” During the interviews, the researchers asked each participant about her ability to perform activities of daily living (bathing, eating, dressing, transferring from the bed to a chair, and using the toilet). The researchers also asked the participants if they could walk one-quarter mile or lift 10 pounds. The researchers studied the relationship between widespread musculoskeletal pain and decreasing ability to carry out these activities over time.