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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015, 3(4), 136-147
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4-3
Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) Using the Rasch Model

Peter D. Hart1, 2, , Minsoo Kang3, Norman L. Weatherby3, Yun Soo Lee3 and Tom M. Brinthaupt4

1Health Promotion, Montana State University - Northern, Havre, MT

2Research and Statistical Consultant, Health Demographics, Havre, MT

3Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

4Department of Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

Pub. Date: July 02, 2015

Cite this paper:
Peter D. Hart, Minsoo Kang, Norman L. Weatherby, Yun Soo Lee and Tom M. Brinthaupt. Evaluation of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) Using the Rasch Model. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015; 3(4):136-147. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4-3


Introduction. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an outcome variable of growing importance in chronic disease research. Many intervention-type studies seek to show improvements in HRQOL based on treatment effects. As interest grows in using HRQOL as an outcome measure, the need to investigate the measurement properties of HRQOL assessments increases in importance. Objective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the SF-36 for proper measurement functioning using the Rasch model. Methods. A total of 634 participants completed the SF-36 HRQOL assessment. The Rasch partial credit model was used to analyze the two dominant HRQOL domains (physical and mental) of the assessment Results. Majority of the total criteria used for optimal category functioning were met for the physical health domain and all of the total criteria were met for the mental health domain. Both convergent and construct validity evidence provided substantial confirmation for the use of the Rasch physical and mental health person scores as measures of HRQOL. Conclusion. Results of this study showed that the SF-36 met stringent modern measurement criteria using the Rasch model.

chronic disease health-related quality of life psychometrics Rasch measurement

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