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The SF-8™ Health Survey

The SF-8™ Health Survey represents a major advance in the application of SF technology for purposes of achieving both brevity and comprehensiveness in population health surveys. It has only eight questionnaire items. By relying on a single item to measure each of the eight domains of health in the SF-36® Health Survey, the SF-8™ represents the ultimate phase in the evolution of SF assessments - single-item scales.

SF-8™ is also the first SF survey to be constructed on the basis of empirical studies linking each questionnaire item to a comprehensive "pool" of widely used questionnaire items, including but not limited to the SF-36®, proven to measure the same health concept. Because the item "pool" for each of the eight health concepts was calibrated on the same metric as the corresponding SF-36® Health Survey scale, each SF-8™ single-item scale and the SF-8™ summary measures can be scored on the same norm-based metrics as the SF-36® scales and summary measures. Thus, the SF-8™ is an 8-item version of the SF-36® that yields a comparable 8-dimension health profile and comparable estimates of summary scores for the physical and mental components of health.

The SF-8™ provides the long awaited "missing link" - a practical tool for directly linking the norms from large population surveys with the results from more focused clinical trials, outcomes research studies, and monitoring efforts in everyday clinical practice. The SF-8™ was constructed to replace the SF-36® and SF-12® in population health surveys in the U.S. and internationally. Accordingly, it has been translated and linguistically validated for use in more than 30 countries and languages using IQOLA Project methods. It has been adopted by federal agencies (e.g., the DOD), leading polling organizations (e.g., the Roper-Starch Worldwide Health Report), and industry sponsors of clinical trials and effectiveness research (e.g., Glaxo Smith Kline, Johnson & Johnson, and Searle).

Finally, the SF-8™ is being used to determine which questions from widely used "static" surveys will be most informative when assessments are computerized and items are administered dynamically to match them to each respondents level of health. For example, SF-8™ items are the first questions asked by QualityMetric Incorporated's Dynamic Health Assessment (DynHA™) "engine," which uses computerized testing logic to achieve very brief and accurate assessments of SF-36® scales and summary measures. QualityMetrics' new dynamic version of the SF-36® is demonstrated on "www.amIhealthy.com"

The development, validation and norming of the new SF-8™ Health Survey forms, including standard (4-week recall) acute (1-week recall) and 24-hour recall versions is documented in a 220-manual, "How to Score and Interpret Single-Item Health Status Measures: A Manual for User of the SF-8™ Health Survey (With a Supplement on the SF-6™ Health Survey."

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