Comparisons of the brief form of the world health organization quality of life and short form-36 for persons with spinal cord injuries

Mau Roung Lin, Hei Fen Hwang, Chih Yi Chen, Wen Ta Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: This study compared the psychometric performance of the brief form of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) with the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) for people with traumatic spinal cord injuries in Taiwan. DESIGN: From a nationwide registry of traumatic spinal cord injuries, 187 subjects completed telephone interviews. Score distributions, internal consistency, intrainterviewer and interinterviewer test-retest reliabilities, convergent and known-groups validities, and the responsiveness between the WHOQOL-BREF (with an overall quality-of-life facet and four domains) and the SF-36 (with eight domains) were compared. RESULTS: Both the WHOQOL-BREF and the SF-36 exhibited low missing values (0.9 ∼ 7.7 vs. 2.1 ∼ 3.8), very good internal consistencies (Cronbach's alpha coefficients of 0.75 ∼ 0.87 vs. 0.72 ∼ 0.98), intrainterviewer reliabilities (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.84 ∼ 0.98 vs. 0.71 ∼ 0.99) and responsive statistics (0.787 ∼ 1.83 vs. 0 ∼ 0.92), and fair interinterviewer reliabilities (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.56 ∼ 0.95 vs. 0.41 ∼ 0.98), whereas the WHOQOL-BREF's domains converged with the conceptually related domains of the SF-36. Nonetheless, compared with the SF-36, the WHOQOL-BREF had lower percentages of ceiling (0.0% ∼ 0.4% vs. 0.4% ∼ 63.8%) and floor (0.0% ∼ 1.3% vs. 0.4% ∼ 28.1%) values and better known-groups validity and responsiveness. CONCLUSIONS: The WHOQOL-BREF is an appropriate generic health-related quality of life measure for persons with traumatic spinal cord injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-113
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Quality of Life
  • SF-36
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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