Evaluating the SF-36 health survey (version 2) in older Vietnamese Americans

Published In: Journal of Aging and Health, v. 20, no. 4, June 1, 2008, p. 420-436

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Quyen Ngo-Metzger, Dara H. Sorkin, Carol Mangione, Barbara Gandek, Ron D. Hays

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OBJECTIVES: The SF-36 Health Survey (Version 2; SF-36) was evaluated among older Vietnamese Americans to determine whether underlying dimensions of physical and mental health were similar to those of other groups in the United States. METHOD: Field testing of participants from senior centers. RESULTS: The study provided support for the reliability and validity of the SF-36. Structural equation modeling provided confirmation of physical and mental health factors. However, the factor loadings for the SF-36 scales were more consistent with previous results from Asian countries than the typical pattern observed in the United States. DISCUSSION: As the older populations in the United States become more diverse, it is important to have standardized health-related quality of life measures. However, the conceptualization of physical and mental health and associations among different scales may be different for Asian immigrants than for other groups. Thus, the interpretation of the SF-36 scores needs to account for cultural differences.

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