Introduction: Chinese is the world's largest ethnic group but few health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures have been tested on them. The aim of this study was to determine if the standard SF-12 was valid and equivalent for a Chinese population.
Methods: The SF-36 data of 2410 Chinese adults randomly selected from the general population of Hong Kong (HK) were analysed. The Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 items and scoring algorithm were derived from the HK Chinese population data by multiple regressions. The SF-36 PCS and MCS scores were used as criteria to assess the content and criterion validity of the SF-12. The standard and Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 PCS and MCS scores were compared for equivalence.
Results: The standard SF-12 explained 82% and 89% of the variance of the SF-36 PCS and MCS scores, respectively, and the effect size differences between the standard SF-36 and SF-12 scores were less than 0.3. Six of the Chinese (HK) specific SF-12 items were different from those of the standard SF-12, but the effect size differences between the Chinese (HK) specific and standard SF-12 scores were mostly less than 0.3.
Conclusions: The standard SF-12 was valid and equivalent for the Chinese, which would enable more Chinese to be included in clinical trials that measure HRQoL.