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19-12-2016 | Uitgave 3/2017

Quality of Life Research 3/2017

Responsiveness of SF-36 Health Survey and Patient Generated Index in people with chronic knee pain commenced on oral analgesia: analysis of data from a randomised controlled clinical trial

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2017
Alex Papou, Salma Hussain, Daniel McWilliams, Weiya Zhang, Michael Doherty
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11136-016-1484-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



(1) To assess the responsiveness of the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and Patient Generated Index (PGI) in people with knee pain who were given oral analgesics; and (2) to perform content analysis of the SF-36 and PGI aiming to identify differences between the instruments and causes of different responsiveness.


An observational study nested within a randomised controlled trial comparing oral paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of the two in 884 community-derived people with chronic knee pain. Each participant was given the SF-36 and PGI questionnaires to fill out at baseline, day 10, week 7 and week 13 after commencement on analgesia. Responsiveness was measured as a standardised response mean from baseline, and contents of the instruments were analysed.


The PGI showed the greater responsiveness to analgesics than the SF-36 throughout the study period. Only the Bodily Pain Score of the SF-36 showed comparable responsiveness to the PGI. The standardised response mean of the PGI at 13 weeks was 0.61 (95% CI 0.51–0.72), and that of the Bodily Pain Score of the SF-36 was 0.49 (95% CI 0.39–0.58). Content analysis of the PGI identified multiple areas which are not represented in the SF-36 which may help explain its performance.


Overall the PGI is more responsive than the SF-36 to commonly used oral analgesics taken for knee pain. The PGI is able to elicit areas of individualised health-related quality of life which are not captured by the SF-36.

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