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Validity of the SF-12 in a Canadian Old Order Mennonite Community

Abstract

To assess the validity of the Physical and Mental Component Summary scores (PCS-12 and MCS-12) of the SF-12 Health Survey (SF-12) in an Old Order Mennonite (OOM) community in Ontario, Canada. Most SF-12 validation studies have focused on general populations or clinical groups. This paper adds to the SF-12 literature by validating the instrument in a minority population. Sixty percent of the adult OOM population (n = 1,171) completed a survey which had the SF-12 embedded within it. The survey also included questions on health determinants and the prevalence of chronic conditions. Factor analysis was used to confirm the two-factor structure of the SF-12. Item-scale correlations were calculated to assess convergent and discriminant validity. PCS-12 and MCS-12 variability by known subgroups were also explored. Factor analysis confirmed the two-factor structure and hypothesized loadings on the latent physical and mental health factors. Item-scale correlations demonstrated satisfactory convergent and discriminant validity. SF-12 summary scores distinguished well, and in the expected manner, between groups of respondents for gender, age, income adequacy, marital status, self-reported health measures, and other health determinants such as coping, trust, social interaction, and spirituality. PCS-12 and MCS-12 scores were lower in those with various chronic conditions compared to those without.The SF-12 appears to be a valid instrument for measuring health status in this minority population. Future SF-12 studies in OOMs and other populations may benefit from using Version 2 of the SF-12, where the dichotomous questions have been replaced by questions offering respondents more choice.

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Abbreviations

BP:

Bodily Pain

CFA:

Confirmatory Factor Analysis

CFI:

Comparative Fit Index

GH:

General Health

MCS-12:

Mental Component Summary Score (SF-12)

MH:

Mental Health

OOA:

Old Order Amish

OOM:

Old Order Mennonite

PCS-12:

Physical Component Summary Score (SF-12)

RE:

Role-Emotional

RMSEA:

Root Mean Square Error of Approximation

RP:

Role-Physical

SF-12:

SF-12 Health Survey

SF-36:

SF-36 Health Survey

SF:

Social Functioning

SRMR:

Standardized Root Mean Square

VT:

Vitality

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful for the support of the OOM church leaders and the participation of OOMs in the study.

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Correspondence to Kathryn Fisher.

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Fisher, K., Newbold, K.B. Validity of the SF-12 in a Canadian Old Order Mennonite Community. Applied Research Quality Life 9, 429–448 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-013-9241-y

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Keywords

  • SF-12
  • PCS
  • MCS
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Psychometrics