270039 SF-36: Psychometric Properties and Use with Individuals with Schizophrenia

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Robin P. Telford, MA , Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Individuals who have a severe mental illness (SMI) experience a disproportionate amount of physical and mental health problems. SMI is associated with high rates of cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory illness resulting in a shortened life span. To assess the impact that physical and mental illness may have on the lives of individuals who suffer from SMI, appropriate assessments of health-related quality of life need to be adequately developed and psychometrically tested. The short form health survey (SF-36) is one of the leading instruments used to measure generic health-related quality of life. Despite having been widely used, there has been less focus on the psychometric functioning of the SF-36 for individuals with schizophrenia. Through a review of the literature, results show limited information about the psychometric properties for the use of the SF-36 for populations with schizophrenia, although it is one of the most frequently used measures of health-related quality of life. A discussion of the implications of using an instrument without understanding its functioning within a specific population, leads one to conclude the need to conduct more studies to assess the psychometric properties of the SF-36 in samples of individuals with schizophrenia. In doing so, this will allow for a greater understanding of the reliability and validity of the scores. Additionally, future research should focus on the differences present in individuals with schizophrenia, their interpretation of quality of life versus the use of general norms for scoring, and improving studies of reliability and validity.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the properties of the SF-36 when used with populations diagnosed with schizophrenia. Analyze different measurement issues not being addressed in current research. Evaluate current literature, and the use of the SF-36 in research.

Keywords: Co-morbid, Mental Illness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author, due to my experience working in the mental health field. In addition, I conducted the research relevant to this abstract, and am preparing a manuscript a related topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.