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Listening to respondents: : a qualitative assessment of the Short-Form 36 Health Status Questionnaire

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  • Mallinson, Sara
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    Abstract

    Standardised health status questionnaires are widely used to obtain subjective assessments of health. However, little research has investigated the meaning of the data they produce. Statistical tests will highlight some problems with the structure and wording of a questionnaire but they cannot shed any light on the way in which respondents interpret questions or their intended meaning when they select a response. Various qualitative techniques are being used within disciplines such as sociology and psychology to test both the language of survey instruments and the cognitive bases of surveys. This paper outlines some of these methods and reports findings from a qualitative research study in the UK with a widely used questionnaire- the Short-Form 36 Health Status Questionnaire. The value of including in-depth, qualitative validation techniques in the development and testing of surveys used to collect subjective assessments of health is clearly demonstrated by the findings of the study.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 54 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 11-21

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:54:y:2002:i:1:p:11-21

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    Keywords: Subjective health measurement Qualitative methods SF-36;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jin-Tan Liu & Meng-Wen Tsou & James K. Hammitt, 2007. "Health Information and Subjective Survival Probability: Evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 149-175, March.
    2. Joanna Sale, 2007. "Perceptions of a Quality of Work-Life Survey from the Perspective of Employees in a Canadian Cancer Centre," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 779-791, December.
    3. Al-Janabi, Hareth & Keeley, Thomas & Mitchell, Paul & Coast, Joanna, 2013. "Can capabilities be self-reported? A think aloud study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 116-122.
    4. Laura Camfield & Gina Crivello & Martin Woodhead, 2009. "Wellbeing Research in Developing Countries: Reviewing the Role of Qualitative Methods," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 5-31, January.

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