Quality of Life Research

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 539–547 | Cite as

Is the standard SF-12 Health Survey valid and equivalent for a Chinese population?

  • Cindy L.K. LamEmail author
  • Eileen Y.Y. Tse
  • Barbara Gandek
Brief communication


Introduction: Chinese is the world’s largest ethnic group but few health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures have been tested on them. The aim of this study was to determine if the standard SF-12 was valid and equivalent for a Chinese population. Methods: The SF-36 data of 2410 Chinese adults randomly selected from the general population of Hong Kong (HK) were analysed. The Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 items and scoring algorithm were derived from the HK Chinese population data by multiple regressions. The SF-36 PCS and MCS scores were used as criteria to assess the content and criterion validity of the SF-12. The standard and Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 PCS and MCS scores were compared for equivalence. Results: The standard SF-12 explained 82% and 89% of the variance of the SF-36 PCS and MCS scores, respectively, and the effect size differences between the standard SF-36 and SF-12 scores were less than 0.3. Six of the Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 items were different from those of the standard SF-12, but the effect size differences between the Chinese (HK) specific and standard SF-12 scores were mostly less than 0.3. Conclusions: The standard SF-12 was valid and equivalent for the Chinese, which would enable more Chinese to be included in clinical trials that measure HRQoL.


Health-related quality of life SF-12 Chinese Validity Equivalence 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy L.K. Lam
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eileen Y.Y. Tse
    • 1
  • Barbara Gandek
    • 2
  1. 1.Family Medicine Unit, Ap Lei Chau Clinicthe University of Hong KongHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.IQOLA ProjectHealth Assessment LabBostonUSA

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