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SF 36 Short Form Survey « Quality of Life « Surveys/Scales « Downloads

Date postedJanuary 31, 2012
Downloaded1477 times
CategoriesQuality of Life, Surveys/Scales, Health Assessment


The SF-36 is a multi-purpose, short-form health survey with only 36 questions. It yields an 8-scale profile of functional health and well-being scores as well as psychometrically-based physical and mental health summary measures and a preference-based health utility index. It is a generic measure, as opposed to one that targets a specific age, disease, or treatment group. Accordingly, the SF-36 has proven useful in surveys of general and specific populations, comparing the relative burden of diseases, and in differentiating the health benefits produced by a wide range of different treatments.

As part of the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) — a multi-year, multi-site study to explain variations in patient outcomes — RAND developed the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). SF-36 is a set of generic, coherent, and easily administered quality-of-life measures. These measures rely upon patient self-reporting and are now widely utilized by managed care organizations and by Medicare for routine monitoring and assessment of care outcomes in adult patients.

The SF-36 includes one multi-item scale that assesses eight health concepts: 1) limitations in physical activities because of health problems; 2) limitations in social activities because of physical or emotional problems; 3) limitations in usual role activities because of physical health problems; 4) bodily pain; 5) general mental health (psychological distress and well-being); 6) limitations in usual role activities because of emotional problems; 7) vitality (energy and fatigue); and 8) general health perceptions.

RAND hereby grants permission to use “RAND 36-Item Short Form Health Survey” in accordance with the following conditions, which shall be assumed by all to have been agreed to as a consequence of accepting and using this document:

Ware JJ, Sherbourne CD, Medical Outcomes Study


Ware JJ, Sherbourne CD. The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36). I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care 1992; 30:473-83.

Brazier JE, Harper R, Jones NM, O’Cathain A, Thomas KJ, Usherwood T, Westlake L. Validating the SF-36 health survey questionnaire: new outcome measure for primary care. BMJ 1992; 305:160-4.

Cronbach’s alpha greater than 0.85, reliability coefficient greater than 0.75 for all dimensions except social functioning (Brazier et al.)