The RAND-36 measure of health-related quality of life

Ann Med. 2001 Jul;33(5):350-7. doi: 10.3109/07853890109002089.


The RAND-36 is perhaps the most widely used health-related quality of life (HRQoL) survey instrument in the world today. It is comprised of 36 items that assess eight health concepts: physical functioning, role limitations caused by physical health problems, role limitations caused by emotional problems, social functioning, emotional well-being, energy/fatigue, pain, and general health perceptions. Physical and mental health summary scores are also derived from the eight RAND-36 scales. This paper provides example applications of the RAND-36 cross-sectionally and longitudinally, provides information on what a clinically important difference is for the RAND-36 scales, and provides guidance for summarizing the RAND-36 in a single number. The paper also discusses the availability of the RAND-36 in multiple languages and summarizes changes that are incorporated in the latest version of the survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Quality of Life*