Quality of Life Research

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 0–0 | Cite as

Assessing the validity of the SF-36 General Health Survey

  • S. A. Stansfeld
  • R. Roberts
  • S. P. Foot


Our objective was to assess the validity of the SF-36 General Health Survey against the Social Maladjustment Schedule (SMS) and two questionnaire measures, the Social Problem Questionnaire and the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) in a random subsample of 206 men and women from the Whitehall II study, a longitudinal survey of health and disease amongst 10,308 London-based civil servants. We found that social functioning on the SF-36 correlated significantly with social contacts, total satisfaction and total management scores on the SMS, and social isolation and emotional reactions on the NHP. General mental health on the SF-36 was associated with marriage, social contacts, leisure scores, total satisfaction and total management scores on the SMS, and emotional reactions, energy level and social isolation on the NHP. Conversely, physical functioning and physical role limitations were generally not associated with the SMS but were associated with physical abilities and pain on the NHP. In conclusion, this study offers evidence of the discriminant validity of the general mental health and physical functioning scales of the SF-36. We also found moderate construct and criterion validity for the social functioning scale of the SF-36 and considerable overlap between the general mental health and social functioning scales.

Health status assessment mental health quality of life questionnaires SF-36 validity 


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Stansfeld
    • 1
  • R. Roberts
    • 2
  • S. P. Foot
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College London Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Division of PsychologyUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

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