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01-11-2009 | Uitgave 9/2009 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 9/2009

SF-36 includes less Parkinson Disease (PD)-targeted content but is more responsive to change than two PD-targeted health-related quality of life measures

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2009
Carlos A. Brown, Eric M. Cheng, Ron D. Hays, Stefanie D. Vassar, Barbara G. Vickrey
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.



To compare validity including responsiveness, and internal consistency reliability and scaling assumptions of a generic (SF-36) and Parkinson Disease (PD)-targeted (PDQ-39; PDQUALIF) health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures.


Ninety-six PD patients were administered for all HRQOL measures by telephonic interview at baseline and 18 months. Relative efficiency and responsiveness were compared relative to four external criteria (self-ratings of PD’s daily effects, global Quality of Life, PD symptom severity, and a depression screener). We examined whether PD-targeted measures explained unique variance beyond the SF-36 by regressing criterion variables on HRQOL scales/items. Adequacy of PD-targeted measures’ original scaling was explored by item-scale correlations.


Relative efficiency estimates were similar for generic and PD-targeted measures across all criteria. Responsiveness analyses showed that the SF-36 yielded large (>0.8) effect sizes (ES) for three of eight scales for each of two criterion variables, compared to only one large ES for any scale in either PD-targeted measure. Adjusted R 2 increased from 14 to 27% in regression models that included PD-targeted items compared to models with only SF-36 scales. Item-scale correlations showed significant cross-loading of items across scales of the PD-targeted measures.


SF-36 responsiveness was better than that of two PD-targeted measures, yet those measures had content that significantly explains PD patients’ HRQOL.

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