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OBJECTIVES: To gain population norms for the short form 36 health survey questionnaire (SF36) in a large community sample and to explore the questionnaire's internal consistency and validity. DESIGN: Postal survey by using a booklet containing the SF36 and several other items concerned with lifestyles and illness. SETTING: The sample was drawn from computerised registers of the family health services authorities for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Oxfordshire. SAMPLE: 13,042 randomly selected subjects aged 18-64 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Scores for the eight health dimensions of the SF36. RESULTS: The survey achieved a response rate of 72% (n = 9332). Internal consistency of the different dimensions of the questionnaire was high. Normative data broken down by age, sex, and social class were consistent with those from previous studies. CONCLUSIONS: The SF36 is a potentially valuable tool in medical research. The normative data provided here may further facilitate its validation and use.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1437 - 1440


Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, England, Female, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Postal Service, Random Allocation, Sex Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires