Is there regional variation in the SF-36 scores of Canadian adults? Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Canadian normative data for the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36) have recently been published. However, there is evidence from other countries to suggest that regional variation in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) may exist. We therefore examined the SF-36 data from nine Canadian centres for evidence of systematic differences. METHODS: Bayesian hierarchical modelling was used to compare the differences in the eight SF-36 domains and the two summary component scores within each of the age and gender strata across the nine sites. RESULTS: Five domains and the two summary component scores showed little clinically important variation. Other than a small number of exceptions, there was little overall evidence of HRQOL differences across most domains and across most sites. INTERPRETATION: Our finding of only a few small differences suggests that there is no need to develop region-specific Canadian normative data for the SF-36 health survey.


  • Hopman, Wilma M
  • Berger, Claudie
  • Joseph, Lawrence
  • Towheed, Tanveer
  • Anastassiades, Tassos
  • Tenenhouse, Alan
  • Poliquin, Suzette
  • Brown, Jacques P
  • Murray, Timothy M
  • Adachi, Jonathan Derrick
  • Hanley, David A
  • Papadimitropoulos, Emmanuel A
  • Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study Research Group

publication date

  • May 2002