Tests of scaling assumptions and construct validity of the Chinese (HK) version of the SF-36 Health Survey

J Clin Epidemiol. 1998 Nov;51(11):1139-47. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(98)00105-x.


Few health-related quality of life (HRQOL) survey instruments are available to the Chinese, although many have been developed for Western populations. This article describes the testing of the acceptability, conceptual equivalence, scaling assumptions and construct validity of a Chinese (HK [Hong Kong]) version fo the MOS SF-36 Health Survey. A Chinese (HK) SF-36 survey form was developed by an iterative translation process. It was administered to 236 Chinese subjects who also rated the understanding, difficulty, relevance, and acceptability of each question. The scores were tested against the original scaling assumptions. The SF-36 profile of our subjects was compared to U.S. results for conceptual equivalence. Most subjects did not have any problem in understanding and answering the SF-36. Item means were generally clustered as hypothesized. All but a few items satisfied all scaling assumptions. The shape of the eight-scale SF-36 profile was similar to that of American patients, suggesting conceptual equivalence. We conclude that the Chinese (HK) version of the SF-36 Health Survey has achieved conceptual equivalence and satisfied the psychometric scaling assumptions well enough to warrant further use and testing, using the standard scoring algorithms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires