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J Clin Epidemiol. 2010 Sep;63(9):1020-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.11.011. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

The Short Form-12 Health Survey was a valid instrument in Chinese adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Nursing Studies, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



To evaluate the construct validity of the standard Chinese Short Form (SF)-12v2 in adolescents.


Data collected from the Hong Kong Student Obesity Surveillance project conducted in 2006-2007 were used. The standard Chinese SF-12v2 was first evaluated against clinical criteria previously used for the evaluation of SF-12 or SF-36. The data were then randomly split into training and validation halves for exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, respectively.


A total of 31,357 adolescents with mean age of 14.8 years (standard deviation=1.9; range=11.0-18.9) were included. The standard Chinese SF-12v2 effectively distinguished groups differing in doctor-diagnosed health problems, self-reported illnesses in the past 30 days, gender, perceived health in the past 3 months, and health compared with that 12 months back. The mental health scale had low internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.34). The exploratory factor analysis was influenced by method effects, but confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the hypothesized latent structure and the one-factor structure of the SF-12v2, providing fit indices within acceptable limits.


The two components and a single general health component of the standard Chinese SF-12v2 are appropriate health indicators for Chinese adolescents.

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