36-Item Short Form Survey from the RAND Medical Outcomes Study

As part of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS), a multi-year, multi-site study to explain variations in patient outcomes, RAND developed the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). SF-36 is a set of generic, coherent, and easily administered quality-of-life measures. These measures rely upon patient self-reporting and are now widely utilized by managed care organizations and by Medicare for routine monitoring and assessment of care outcomes in adult patients.

Available Documents

Terms and Conditions for Using the SF-36 (2009)


MOS 36-Item Short Form Survey Instrument (SF-36)


Scoring Instructions for MOS 36-Item Short Form Survey Instrument (SF-36) (2009)

Reliability of an Arabic Version of the RAND 36-Item Health Survey and its Equivalence to the US-English Version

Coons, SJ, Alabdulmohsin, SA, Draugalis, JR, & Hays, RD. (1998), Medical Care, 36, 428-432.

This article contains a discussion of reliability of using the Arabic SF-36 instrument.

More Information about Summary Scores

For those interested in information about the physical and mental health summary scores and the work done to create a single score, we suggest the following articles:

What is the Relationship Between the Minimally Important Difference and Health State Utility Values? The Case of the SF-6-D

Walters SJ, Brazier JE. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2003, p. 4.


The Estimation of a Preference-based Measure of Health from the SF-36

Brazier J, Roberts J, Deverill M. Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 21, No. 2, March 2002, pp. 271-292.


Mapping the SF-12 to the EuroQol EQ-5D Index in a National US Sample

Franks P, Lubetkin EI, Gold MR, Tancredi DJ, Jia H. Medical Decision Making, Vol. 24, No. 3, May-June 2004, pp. 247-254.


Measuring Function and Well-Being: The Medical Outcomes Study Approach

Stewart AL, Ware JE., eds. (1992)

Other instruments from the Medical Outcomes Study

This website offers a list of all instruments that have been approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Medical Outcomes Trust.


Bibliography for the RAND Medical Outcomes Study