Equating the MOS SF36 and the LSU HSI Physical Functioning Scales

J Outcome Meas. 1997;1(4):329-62.


This study equates the physical functioning subscales of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF36) and the Louisiana State University Health Status Instruments (LSU HSI). Data from the SF36's 10-item physical functioning scale, the PF10, and the LSU HSI's 29-item Physical Functioning Scale (PFS), were fit to separate and mixed Rasch rating scale models. Data were provided by a convenience sample of 285 patients waiting for appointments in a public hospital general medicine clinic. Difficulty estimates for a subset of similar items from the two instruments were highly correlated (.95), indicating that the items from the two scales are working together to measure the same variable. The measures from the two equated instruments correlate .80 (.86 when disattenuated for error). Of the two instruments, the PFS's error is lower, model fit is better, and reliability coefficients are higher. Both instruments measure physical functioning, and can do so in a common unit of measurement. Conversion tables are provided for transforming raw scores from either instrument into the common metric.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics as Topic / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*