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Quality of life assessment using the short form 12 questionnaire is as reliable and sensitive as the short form 36 in distinguishing symptom severity in myocardial infarction survivors
  1. M R Melville1,
  2. M A Lari1,
  3. N Brown2,
  4. T Young3,
  5. D Gray1
  1. 1Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Royal Gwen Hospital, Newport, Gwent, UK
  3. 3Health Economy Research Group, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr David Gray
    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK;

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From the patient’s perspective, disease severity is gauged by its impact on health related quality of life (HRQL), whereas medical practitioners tend to focus on clinical parameters such as symptoms, signs, and investigations. HRQL assessment can complement clinical evaluation but has not been widely incorporated into routine clinical practice, perhaps because of an association with research, lack of familiarity, difficulties with data interpretation, or concern that outpatients is busy enough.

The short form 36 questionnaire (SF-36)1 is an established HRQL tool that has been evaluated in a range of medical conditions2 and for which normative data are available.3 Survivors of myocardial infarction have notably impaired HRQL compared with a normal population, detected more readily by the SF-36 than the Nottingham health profile (NHP).4,5 Despite being relatively user friendly, the SF-36 can be time consuming, especially when combined with essential demographic and other questionnaires, leading to reduced response rates, incompleteness, and unreliability.

We investigated whether a shorter questionnaire, the short form 12 (SF-12), which derives summary scores from specific items from the eight domains of the SF-36, might provide equally reliable and sensitive information in a post-infarction population.


The patient population has been described before.4 Briefly, we mailed a detailed questionnaire comprising demographic questions, …

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