The Short Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey: normative data for the Irish population

Ir J Med Sci. 2000 Jul-Sep;169(3):195-200. doi: 10.1007/BF03167695.


Background: Generic measures of quality of life have a wide application in health research. They measure disease impact by comparing scores in patient groups with a healthy population. They also facilitate comparative studies between different patient groups. The SF-36 Health Survey quantifies respondents' perceptions of their functioning in eight dimensions of daily life.

Aim: The aim of this study was to set normative values for the SF-36 in the Irish population aged 18 years and over.

Method: A random sample of 800 subjects was drawn from the electoral register using the RANSAM method of sampling.

Results: Two hundred and ninety five (37%) valid questionnaires were returned for analysis. The SF-36 was found to have acceptable internal consistency and validity. Normative values for the total population are presented, in addition to results for males and females across seven age groups. Ageing was associated with a decline in the physical dimensions of health.

Conclusions: There was no evidence to suggest that there were significant differences in health status between males and females, or between this Irish sample and the published norms for the US population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Reference Values