Monitoring health outcomes among patients with arthritis using the SF-36 Health Survey: overview

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Arthritis; Cost of Illness; *Health Status Indicators; Humans; *Outcome Assessment (Health Care); *Questionnaires; Reproducibility of Results


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


As shown here, general health measures cover much of the content included in arthritis-specific measures, but, are they equally sensitive to changes in disease condition? We reviewed the literature on the most widely used general health measure, the SF-36 Health Survey, to see if the empirical evidence supported its validity for use in arthritis patients. As of this writing, there was no documentation of the sensitivity of the SF-36 to short-term changes in arthritic condition over the course of clinical trials and few studies that compared the sensitivity of the SF-36 to arthritis-specific measures. The empirical research reported in this special supplement contributes to the literature on the use of the SF-36 in arthritis patients and demonstrates methods of studying the validity of general health measures to monitor change in specific conditions.


Med Care. 1999 May;37(5 Suppl):MS1-9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed