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Can J Public Health. 2002 May-Jun;93(3):233-7.

Is there regional variation in the SF-36 scores of Canadian adults?

Author information

MacKenzie Health Services Research Group, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, 3rd Floor, Abramsky Hall, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6.



Canadian normative data for the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36) have recently been published. However, there is evidence from other countries to suggest that regional variation in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) may exist. We therefore examined the SF-36 data from nine Canadian centres for evidence of systematic differences.


Bayesian hierarchical modelling was used to compare the differences in the eight SF-36 domains and the two summary component scores within each of the age and gender strata across the nine sites.


Five domains and the two summary component scores showed little clinically important variation. Other than a small number of exceptions, there was little overall evidence of HRQOL differences across most domains and across most sites.


Our finding of only a few small differences suggests that there is no need to develop region-specific Canadian normative data for the SF-36 health survey.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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