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28-08-2017 | Review | Uitgave 2/2018

Quality of Life Research 2/2018

Psychometric validation of the SF-36® Health Survey in ulcerative colitis: results from a systematic literature review

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2018
Aaron Yarlas, Martha Bayliss, Joseph C. Cappelleri, Stephen Maher, Andrew G. Bushmakin, Lea Ann Chen, Alireza Manuchehri, Paul Healey
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-017-1690-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



To conduct a systematic literature review of the reliability, construct validity, and responsiveness of the SF-36® Health Survey (SF-36) in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).


We performed a systematic search of electronic medical databases to identify published peer-reviewed studies which reported scores from the eight scales and/or two summary measures of the SF-36 collected from adult patients with UC. Study findings relevant to reliability, construct validity, and responsiveness were reviewed.


Data were extracted and summarized from 43 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Convergent validity was supported by findings that 83% (197/236) of correlations between SF-36 scales and measures of disease symptoms, disease activity, and functioning exceeded the prespecified threshold (r ≥ |0.40|). Known-groups validity was supported by findings of clinically meaningful differences in SF-36 scores between subgroups of patients when classified by disease activity (i.e., active versus inactive), symptom status, and comorbidity status. Responsiveness was supported by findings of clinically meaningful changes in SF-36 scores following treatment in non-comparative trials, and by meaningfully larger improvements in SF-36 scores in treatment arms relative to controls in randomized controlled trials. The sole study of SF-36 reliability found evidence supporting internal consistency (Cronbach’s α ≥ 0.70) for all SF-36 scales and test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient ≥0.70) for six of eight scales.


Evidence from this systematic literature review indicates that the SF-36 is reliable, valid, and responsive when used with UC patients, supporting the inclusion of the SF-36 as an endpoint in clinical trials for this patient population.

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