Patient self-report measures are increasingly valued as outcome variables in health services research studies. In this article, the authors describe the Functional Status, Health Related Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction, and Patient Satisfaction scales included in the Processes, Structures, and Outcomes of Cardiac Surgery (PSOCS) cooperative study underway within the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. In addition to reporting on the baseline psychometric characteristics of these instruments, the authors compared preoperative Medical Outcomes Study SF-36 data from the study patients with survey data from a probability sample of the US population and with preoperative data on cardiac surgery patients from a high volume private sector surgical practice. Descriptive analyses indicate that the SF-36 profiles for all of the cardiac patients are highly similar. The Veterans Affairs and private sector patients report diminished physical functioning, physical role functioning, and emotional role functioning as well as reduced energy relative to an age-matched comparison sample. At the same time, however, the Veterans Affairs patients evidenced lower levels of capacity on most of the SF-36 dimensions relative to the private sector patients.