Recently, Ware and Sherbourne published a new short-form health survey, the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), consisting of 36 items included in long-form measures developed for the Medical Outcomes Study. The SF-36 taps eight health concepts: physical functioning, bodily pain, role limitations due to physical health problems, role limitations due to personal or emotional problems, general mental health, social functioning, energy/fatigue, and general health perceptions. It also includes a single item that provides an indication of perceived change in health. The SF-36 items and scoring rules are distributed by MOS Trust, Inc. Strict adherence to item wording and scoring recommendations is required in order to use the SF-36 trademark. The RAND 36-Item Health Survey 1.0 (distributed by RAND) includes the same items as those in the SF-36, but the recommended scoring algorithm is somewhat different from that of the SF-36. Scoring differences are discussed here and new T-scores are presented for the eight multi- item scales and two factor analytically- derived physical and mental health composite scores.

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Originally published in: Health Economics, v. 2, 1993, pp. 217-227.

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