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The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): I. Conceptual Framework and Item Selection

John E. Ware, Jr. and Cathy Donald Sherbourne
Medical Care
Vol. 30, No. 6 (Jun., 1992), pp. 473-483
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3765916
Page Count: 11
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The MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36): I. Conceptual Framework and Item Selection
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Abstract

A 36-item short-form (SF-36) was constructed to survey health status in the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 was designed for use in clinical practice and research, health policy evaluations, and general population surveys. The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions. The survey was constructed for self-administration by persons 14 years of age and older, and for administration by a trained interviewer in person or by telephone. The history of the development of the SF-36, the origin of specific items, and the logic underlying their selection are summarized. The content and features of the SF-36 are compared with the 20-item Medical Outcomes Study short-form.

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