Health status measures adapted from the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) scales have been shown to be useful and highly reliable in human immunodeficiency virus-infected populations, but acceptance of these measures has been limited in part by concerns over investigator, patient, and data burden. The authors sought to address these concerns by reducing the number of items in the MOS scales rather than by reducing the number of domains covered. The authors selected items for the shorter scales based on the static and dynamic relationships to the longer scales and to indicators of clinical and functional status in 10,399 responses from 1,934 participants, as well as in relevant subpopulations. The resulting scales have a total of 21 items, as compared to 38 in the longer instrument. Correlations between the shorter and longer scales were excellent. At 0.78 to 0.85, the reliability of the subscales was lower than that of the full scales. However, compared to an index based on the longer scales, an index based on the subscales had identical reliability, yielded nearly identical values, and was as sensitive in detecting treatment differences in a clinical trial. The resulting instrument continues to cover disability, work, utilization, and health status, but is less than half the length of our previous comprehensive questionnaires.
Originally published in: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, v. 8, 1995, pp. 253-265.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.