Summarizes the leading health status instruments in HIV research that are based on the pool of items developed as part of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS), which was begun at RAND. The article examines different specifications of health status instruments based on different components of the Medical Outcomes Study and describes the amount of time taken to complete the instruments and the instruments' reliability. The instruments have been administered, in descriptive studies and clinical trials, to over 20,000 persons with HIV, and there is substantial evidence for their reliability, construct and predictive validity, and responsiveness. Having a valid health status measure is important in dealing with HIV, since therapy can have a significant impact on quality of life of patients infected with this virus.
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