Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: To review evidence relating to the measurement properties of multi-item generic patient or self-assessed measures of health in older people. METHODS: Systematic literature searches to identify instruments. Pre-defined criteria relating to reliability, validity and responsiveness. RESULTS: 122 articles relating to 15 instruments met the inclusion criteria. The most extensive evidence was found for the SF-36, COOP Charts, EQ-5D, Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) and SIP. Four instruments have evidence of both internal consistency and test-retest reliability--NHP, SF-12, SF-20, SF-36. Four instruments lack evidence of reliability--HSQ-12, IHQL, QWB, SQL. Most instruments were assessed for validity through comparisons with other instruments, global judgements of health, or clinical and socio-demographic variables. Five instruments lack evidence of responsiveness--GQL, HSQ-12, IHQL, QLI and QWB. CONCLUSION: There is good evidence for reliability, validity and responsiveness for the SF-36, EQ-5D and NHP. There is more limited evidence for the COOP, SF-12 and SIP. The SF-36 is recommended where a detailed and broad ranging assessment of health is required, particularly in community dwelling older people with limited morbidity. The EQ-5D is recommended where a more succinct assessment is required, particularly where a substantial change in health is expected. Instrument content should be assessed for relevance before application. The concurrent evaluation of generic instruments in older people is recommended.


Journal article


Qual Life Res

Publication Date





1651 - 1668


Age Factors, Aged, Health Status Indicators, Humans, Quality of Life, Reproducibility of Results, Self Concept