The MOS measures reflect the influence and contributions of many other investigators in the field of health assessment. The measures are based most directly on the health measures developed for the RAND Health Insurance Experiment (HIE), which in turn were based on the work of many others.
This chapter discusses sampling goals and methods. An important feature of the MOS sampling strategy was the selection of patients for follow-up according to the tracer conditions: hypertension, diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
The MOS tested a short-form survey instrument that provides a solution to the problem faced by many investigators who must restrict survey length. The instrument is designed to reduce respondent burden while achieving minimum standards of precision for purposes of group comparisons involving multiple health dimensions.
This chapter presents a description of the survey instrument designed to measure the six health concepts selected by MOS (physical, social, role functioning, bodily pain, mental health under psychological distress, and general health perceptions) using a single-item measure for each.
In the assessment of psychological distress and well-being, long considered a primary indicator of mental health, two historic issues, affective vs. somatic symptoms and negative vs. positive emotions, have already been resolved.
Social functioning is defined as the ability to develop, maintain, and nurture major social relationships. A social activity limitations measure can be used to assess health-related limitations in normal or usual social activities.
Sexual functioning is commonly defined by sexual problems and dysfunction. The MOS limited the definition to include any impairment of the capacity of an adult man or woman to achieve sexual arousal and orgasm.
The construct validity of a set of nineteen of the most direct measures of health was examined in terms of the interrelationships among the health measures and their relationships to selected validity measures.
This chapter summarizes the MOS approach to writing questionnaire items, protesting measures, constructing multi-item scales, evaluating scale variability, reliability, and stability, and labeling measures.