The performance of SF-36 health survey in patients with laryngeal cancer

Paola Mosconi, Stefania Cifani, Sergio Crispino, Roldano Fossati, Giovanni Apolone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Interest in measuring health-related quality of life has increased together with the awareness that such humanistic outcomes require valid and reliable measures. Among the several generic questionnaires, the Short Form 36 Items Health Survey (SF-36) is recognized for its comprehensiveness, brevity, and high standards of reliability and validity. It has been translated and validated in several languages. Methods. In the framework of a larger, prospective, multicenter study aimed to produce and validate an Italian questionnaire tailored to laryngeal cancer patients, the SF-36 was administered to a sample of well-characterized cases. It was, therefore, possible to test its characteristics in terms of patients' acceptance, psychometric, and clinical validity. Results. Overall, findings show that in this sample of 165 consecutive patients with laryngeal cancer at various stage of disease, the SF-36 performance was very good. The patients' acceptance was satisfactory: all patients completed the questionnaire. All the questionnaire scales met the standards suggested in terms of grouping and scaling assumptions. The internal reliability coefficients actually replicate the satisfactory findings reported for the original SF-36. In terms of capability of the questionnaire scales to discriminate between groups expected to differ in a given health concept in relation to clinical variables, the results were also good. Conclusions. This study showed that SF-36 was well accepted by patients and was able to detect the impact of different treatment approaches on health-related quality of life. It is likely that the sensitivity and the precision of the SF-36 can be further improved by integrating brief questionnaire modules specific for laryngeal clinical issues. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000


  • Health outcome assessment
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • SF-36 Health Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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