An evaluation of a brief health status measure in elderly veterans.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility of a brief 36-item health status measure in elderly male veterans, by comparing it with the 136-item Sickness Impact Profile. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study in which all subjects completed both measures in a random order. SETTING: Durham VAMC General Medicine and Geriatrics Clinics. PATIENTS: Convenience sample of 25 male veterans aged 65 and older (mean age = 73.5 years; 68% white; 68% currently married; mean annual income = $7,000). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Two well-validated health status measures, the Sickness Impact Profile and the SF-36. RESULTS: The SF-36 took less time to administer than the Sickness Impact Profile in both the Geriatrics Clinic (mean: 15 vs 33 minutes) and General Medicine Clinic (mean: 14 vs 21 minutes). Although SIP scores consistently displayed a more optimistic picture of respondents' health compared with the SF-36, the two instruments were highly correlated: overall functioning (r = 0.73), physical functioning (r = 0.78), and social functioning (r = 0.67). CONCLUSIONS: These two measures provide a similar ranking of elderly male veterans' health status. The significantly shorter administration time of the SF-36 is an attractive feature for both researchers and clinicians interested in assessing health status.
Weinberger, M; Samsa, GP; Hanlon, JT; Schmader, K; Doyle, ME; Cowper, PA; Uttech, KM; Cohen, HJ; Feussner, JR
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