Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences


This study examined the stability of the Medical Outcomes Study-Short Form (SF-36) in healthy populations. The researchers conducted a structured review of longitudinal studies that reported the use of SF-36 among people in their active working years ages 18 to 65. The cumulative sample size across selected studies comprised 29,868 participants. SF-36 mean scores were similar to published U.S. aggregate norms. Gender-specific changes in SF-36 scores also followed a normative trend, with women having greater declines in scores (poorer health) than men. The SF-36 was stable among healthy populations; however, its use among healthy people requires caution, particularly when considering the longitudinal effects of age.