Validation of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (Hebrew Version) in the Adult Population of Israel


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Abstract

Objectives.In the past few years, the SF-36 Health Survey has drawn considerable attention from researchers in non-English-speaking countries. This report contributes to the growing body of literature on this instrument by reporting the results of a national study conducted in Israel. The study examined the psychometric properties of the Hebrew translation based on a sample of the adult population of Israel and evaluated the results from a cross-national perspective.Methods.The sample included 2,030 adults drawn from the Jewish population, aged 45 to 75 years. The SF-36 Health Survey was administered in face-to-face interviews as part of a broader health study.Results.The pattern of correlations among items and the internal consistency scores pointed to high reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis using the Amos 3.61 program supported the hypothesized factorial structure. Specifically, the items clustered around eight health dimensions, as was found in studies in other societies. Clear and statistically significant differences in the SF-36 Health Survey scores were found among age groups and population groups distinguished by the degree of chronic health problems.Conclusions.Results of the analysis indicate that the instrument provided an appropriate measure of general health status. The findings clearly indicate that the translation into the Hebrew language and the application of the instrument to a culturally heterogeneous population did not diminish the qualities of the instrument. They also point to certain items that might be modified to reduce problems of synonimity and embeddedness.

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