Short health scale: a valid, reliable, and responsive instrument for subjective health assessment in Crohn's disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Jan;14(1):47-52. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20255.


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an essential part of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) assessment. The Short Health Scale (SHS), an HRQoL questionnaire in which the patients rate the disease impact on 4 important aspects of subjective health (symptoms, function, worry, and general well-being) was demonstrated in a previous study to be valid, reliable, and responsive in patients with ulcerative colitis. The present study evaluates the SHS in patients with Crohn's disease (CD).

Methods: In all, 367 CD patients completed the SHS and 4 other HRQoL questionnaires (IBDQ, SF-36, RFIPC, and PGWB) at their regular outpatient visits. Then 330 patients completed the questionnaires at a second visit 6 months later. In addition, reliability data were obtained from repeat measurements 4 weeks after the first visit in 40 patients stable in remission.

Results: Patients in remission scored better on all 4 questions than those with active disease (P < 0.001). All 4 questions were strongly correlated with the corresponding dimensions of the other HRQoL questionnaires (r(s) = 0.74-0.83). Reliability was confirmed with strong test-retest correlations (r(s) = 0.69-0.82) and intraclass correlation coefficients (0.66-0.77). Patients who changed from remission to active disease or vice versa showed a significant change in all 4 SHS scores (P < 0.005).

Conclusions: SHS is a valid, reliable and responsive HRQoL instrument also in patients with CD. It is easily completed by the patient and requires no further calculation by the investigator. SHS gives a comprehensive overview of the main aspects of the patient's subjective health perception and is a useful tool in both clinical practice and clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crohn Disease / physiopathology*
  • Crohn Disease / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*