Test-Retest Performance of a Mailed Version of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey among Older Adults

Elena Andresen, Nancy Bowley, Barbara M. Rothenberg, Robert Panzer, Paul Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES. This study reports the reliability, internal consistency, and response patterns for a mailed version of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) among older adults. METHODS. The SF-36 surveys were mailed to patients living in the community aged 65 years and older who were enrolled in two primary care practice clinics. Comorbidity scores also were assigned to patients based on their diagnoses from computerized clinic encounter forms using Deyo et al's modification of the Charlson Index. Subjects repeated the SF-36 by mail after 1 month. RESULTS. Four-hundred twenty-two subjects were mailed surveys and 253 returned them (60.0%). Missing items further reduced the number of subjects with scores on all SF-36 scales. A total of 186 subjects completed both baseline and retest SF-36 surveys. Intraclass correlation coefficients generally were high and ranged from 0.648 to 0.868. Internal consistency of scales also was high (0.802 to 0.924). Mean SF-36 scale scores decreased significantly with increasing comorbidity levels. CONCLUSIONS. The SF-36 demonstrated good retest reliability and internal consistency among these older adults and also showed a strong relationship to an external measure of comorbidity/health status. Mailed surveys pose a problem of response among older adults, a problem not unique to the SF-36, and methods for increasing response are needed when personal interviews are not feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1170
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Care
Volume34
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Health Surveys
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Comorbidity
comorbidity
health
performance
Postal Service
Health Status
Primary Health Care
health status
Interviews
Surveys and Questionnaires
interview
community

Keywords

  • Health status
  • Older adults
  • Reliability
  • Survey methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Test-Retest Performance of a Mailed Version of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey among Older Adults. / Andresen, Elena; Bowley, Nancy; Rothenberg, Barbara M.; Panzer, Robert; Katz, Paul.

In: Medical Care, Vol. 34, No. 12, 12.1996, p. 1165-1170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Andresen, Elena ; Bowley, Nancy ; Rothenberg, Barbara M. ; Panzer, Robert ; Katz, Paul. / Test-Retest Performance of a Mailed Version of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey among Older Adults. In: Medical Care. 1996 ; Vol. 34, No. 12. pp. 1165-1170.
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