Updated U.S. population standard for the Veterans RAND 12-item Health Survey (VR-12)

Qual Life Res. 2009 Feb;18(1):43-52. doi: 10.1007/s11136-008-9418-2. Epub 2008 Dec 3.


Purpose: The purpose of this project was to develop an updated U.S. population standard for the Veterans RAND 12-item Health Survey (VR-12).

Methods: We used a well-defined and nationally representative sample of the U.S. population from 52,425 responses to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) collected between 2000 and 2002. We applied modified regression estimates to update the non-proprietary 1990 scoring algorithms. We applied the updated standard to the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) to compute the VR-12 physical (PCS((MEPS standard))) and mental (MCS((MEPS standard))) component summaries based on the MEPS. We compared these scores to PCS and MCS based on the 1990 U.S. population standard.

Results: Using the updated U.S. population standard, the average VR-12 PCS((MEPS standard)) and MCS((MEPS standard)) scores in the Medicare HOS were 39.82 (standard deviation [SD] = 12.2) and 50.08 (SD = 11.4), respectively. For the same Medicare HOS, the average PCS and MCS scores based on the 1990 standard were 1.40 points higher and 0.99 points lower in comparison to VR-12 PCS and MCS, respectively.

Conclusions: Changes in the U.S. population between 1990 and today make the old standard obsolete for the VR-12, so the updated standard developed here is widely available to serve as such a contemporary standard for future applications for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) assessments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United States
  • Veterans*