Quality of Life Concepts

Secondary Health Conditions

Short-Form Health Survey 36 (SF-36)

Description: A generic health status measure (health-related quality of life [QoL]) designed to be applied to all health conditions and to assess general health concepts, such as functional status and well-being [1].

Format: 36 items covering eight domains: physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health problems, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems and mental health.

Scoring: The scoring is norm-based, with a general population mean score of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. Higher scores indicate higher levels of health. There is published data and norms available for most health conditions as well as for the general population (in Canada and USA).

In addition, the SF-36 can be scored to produce a preference-based single index measure for health from these data using general population values (SF-6D). The SF-6D allows the analyst to obtain quality adjusted life years (QALYs) from the SF-36 for use in cost utility analysis.  The scoring for the SF-6D can be obtained at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/scharr/sections/heds/mvh/sf-6d.

Administration and Burden: Interviewer-administered; Self-administered. Approximately 5-10 minutes.

Psychometrics for SCI: The SF-36 has acceptable psychometric properties in both the physical and mental components for use in the SCI population with some limitations [2].

Language(s): Translated for use in more than 40 other countries.

QoL Concept: The SF-36 is a measure of Health-Related QoL, which corresponds to Boxes B (societal standards and priorities) and C (achievements; health-related QoL) of Dijker’s Model

If the SF-6D scoring algorithm is used, then the SF-36 produces a Utility outcome, which corresponds to Boxes A (objective evaluations; quality adjusted life years), B (societal standards and priorities) and C (achievements; health-related QoL) of Dijker’s Model.

Permissions/Where to Obtain: Copyrighted; The SF-36 can be purchased at the SF-36 website at: http://www.sf-36.org/.

References:

  1. Ware JEJ, Kosinski M, Gandek B. SF-36 health survey: manual and interpretation guide. Lincoln: Quality Metric; 2001.

  2. Ku JH. Health-related quality of life in patients with spinal cord injury: review of the short form 36-health questionnaire survey. Yonsei Med J 2007; 30;48:360-70.
     

CLICK ON THE LISTED SECONDARY HEALTH CONDITIONS ON THE LEFT TO READ HOW THE SF-36 HAS BEEN USED WITH A PARTICULAR CONDITION

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