A scoring system for subjective health complaints (SHC)

Scand J Public Health. 1999 Mar;27(1):63-72.


The aim of this study is to present a complete scoring system for subjective health complaints (SHC) as they are experienced by the lay population. The scoring system records the complaints, and does not map attributions or medical diagnoses. In all, 1,219 subjects (323 men, 896 women) from various occupations were tested with a scoring system, the SHC inventory, previously referred to as the Ursin Health Inventory (UHI). The SHC consists of 29 questions concerning severity and duration of subjective somatic and psychological complaints. The SHC inventory yields scores on single items and a total number of health complaints categorized into five factors: musculoskeletal pain (alpha=0.74), pseudoneurology (alpha=0.73), gastrointestinal problems (alpha=0.62), allergy (alpha=0.58) and flu (alpha=0.67). The SHC inventory is a systematic, easy, and reliable way to score subjective health complaints. The prevalence of these complaints is high, and should be considered before conclusions are reached about new diseases and new attributions of environmental hazards.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / diagnosis
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*