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Construct Validity of the Short Form-36 Health Survey and Its Relationship with BMI in Obese Outpatients

By Francesco Corica, Andrea Corsonello, Giovanni Apolone, Maria Lucchetti, Nazario Melchionda, Giulio Marchesini, Paolo Ventura and The QUOVADIS Study Group


Objective: To investigate the construct validity of the Short Form-36 (SF-36) Health Survey questionnaire in obese patients. Research Methods and Procedures: Our series consisted of 1735 obese patients (age, 44.7 11.0 years; 1346 women) consecutively enrolled in the QUOVADIS study, an observational multicenter study of obese treatment-seeking outpatients. The construct validity of the SF-36 was assessed by main component analysis. Age-, gender-, and educationadjusted general linear models were used to investigate the relationship between BMI and SF-36 domains or factors identified by main component analysis. Results: BMI was significantly associated with poor healthrelated quality of life in all eight SF-36 domains, and the strongest association was observed with physical activity. Main components analysis generated a six-factor solution explaining 59% of the observed variance. BMI was strongly associated with factors based on the loading of items regarding the physical activity domain and factors based on role-physical and role-emotional items or general health and bodily pain items. In contrast, mental health-, vitality-, and social functioning-based factors were not related to BMI. Discussion: In obese treatment-seeking outpatients, the clustering of SF-36 items in main components is not significantly different from the domain-based approach generally used, thus confirming the robustness of such a generic questionnaire in this specific condition. However, the peculiar clustering of some SF-36 items and their relationship with BMI suggest that the health-related quality of life profile of subjects belonging to that population may be better described with alternative aggregations of the SF-36 items or with disease-tailored questionnaires

Topics: construct validity, Short Form-36 Health Survey, health-related quality of life, observational study, main component analysis
Publisher: 'Springer Science and Business Media LLC'
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1038/oby.2006.162
OAI identifier:

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