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Health Care Financ Rev. 2004 Summer;25(4):5-25.

Psychometric evaluation of the SF-36 health survey in Medicare managed care.

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Health Assessment Lab and Tufts University School of Medicine, Waltham, MA 02451, USA.


Data quality and scoring assumptions for the SF-36 Health Survey were evaluated among the elderly and disabled, using 1998 Cohort I baseline Medicare HOS data (n=177,714). Missing data rates were low, and scoring assumptions were met. Internal consistency reliability was 0.83 to 0.93 for the eight scales and 0.94 and 0.89, respectively, for the physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component summary measures. Results declined with increased risk factors (e.g., older age, more chronic conditions), but were well above accepted standards for all subgroups. These findings support using standard algorithms for scoring the SF-36 in the HOS and subgroup analyses of HOS data.

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