Equivalence of Chinese and US-English Versions of the SF-36 Health Survey

Published in: Quality of Life Research, v. 12, no. 4, June 2003, p. 449-457

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2002

by Jenny Yu, Stephen Coons, JoLaine R. Draugalis, Xinhua S. Ren, Ron D. Hays

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This study evaluated the equivalence of Chinese and US-English versions of the SF-36 Health Survey in a convenience sample of 309 Chinese nationals bilingual in Chinese and English living in a US city. Snowball sampling was used to generate sufficient sample size. Internal consistency, test-retest, and equivalent-forms reliability were estimated. Patients were randomized to one of four groups: (1) English version completed first, followed by Chinese version (same occasion); (2) Chinese version completed first, followed by English version (same occasion); (3) English version completed once and then again 1-week later; (4) Chinese version completed once and then again 1-week later. Internal consistency reliability estimates for the Chinese and US-English versions of the SF-36 scales ranged from 0.60 to 0.88; test-retest reliability estimates (1 week time interval) ranged from 0.67 to 0.90. Reliability estimates for corresponding Chinese and US-English SF-36 scales tended to be similar and not significantly different. Equivalent-forms reliability estimates (product-moment correlations) ranged from 0.81 to 0.98. Mean SF-36 scale scores were comparable for both versions of the instrument. This study provides support for the equivalence of the Chinese and US-English versions of the SF-36.

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