Studies of test-retest reliability for health-related quality of life instruments have used varying intervals between test administrations. There is no evidence available to aid in the selection of the time interval between questionnaire administrations for a study of test-retest reliability for health status instruments. We compared the test-retest reliability at 2 days and 2 weeks for four knee-rating scales and the eight domains of the SF-36. Seventy patients with disorders of the knee who were in a stable state were randomly allocated to repeat the questionnaires at either 2 days or 2 weeks. There were no statistically significant differences in the test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient and limits of agreement statistics) for the two time intervals.