Clinical Studies Short Form Health Survey
One of the research instruments used in clinical studies is the short form health survey. The instrument was developed in 1988 or rather it was in its developmental form in 1988, and then in 1990 it was in its standard form. The purpose of the instruments is to assess different areas concerning the health of individuals in a manner that is both comprehensive and ephemeral such that the focus is put on a person’s viewpoint. The variables that the instrument bases its interest on include; social operations, physical operations, the limitations of roles because of emotional issues, limitations of roles because of problems in physical health, common health perceptions, common issues in mental health, the vitality of the human body and also pain in the body (Ware, 2000).
The variables were selected from outcomes of an experiment by the Rand Health Insurance. The study had found forty medical results and hence the variables selected from the number. The first population that the instrument was applied entailed adults who spoke English. The study took place between the year 1986-1987 in the states of Massachusetts, Boston, Chicago, California, Los Angeles and Illinois. More than fifteen thousand of the participants finished filling the questionnaire while the medical practitioners that were responsible for their treatments provided details concerning their health conditions (Ware, 2000).
In regards to psychometric properties, factor analysis has proved the validity of the need for the associated eight scales that align with the present physical and mental factors. Also, various studies on the validity and reliability of the instruments have indicated a reliability score of more than seven and also validity in regards to criterion, construct, content, predictive, and concurrent validity. Furthermore, when it comes to the measuring and screening processes f various diseases, the individual scales have been useful (Ware, 2000).
The scoring of the instrument is tentatively norm-based whereby all the eight scales are standardized and enables easy interpretations and comparisons. It is worth noting that the self-rating item on the health condition is no longer used in determining the scores (Ware, 2000). One of the strengths of the instrument is that it is comprehensive and sensitive in regards to the changes taking place in the health spectrum. It is also available languages; languages such as Chinese, Spanish, French, English and Italian. Its weakness is attributed to the fact that it is brief and hence allowing omission of some important factors. The instrument has been effective in several clinical studies and hence efficient. Being a generic instrument, it may be effective in studies regarding comparing the health condition of an individual in relation to the general public. Also, repeated assessments may be done over a long period of time on the same individuals (Ware, 2000)
The Questions on Life Satisfaction Questionnaire
From a more general perspective, the question on life satisfaction instrument evaluates the quality of life from both health-related and general perspective. It entails three factors that include; modular structure, the individual weighting of items and also the economy. The instrument contains two modules that include health-related module and a general module. It also contains two elements; the subjectivity element and the multidimensional element in regards to its definition (Henrich & Herschbach, 2000). The multidimensionality element entails the inclusion of important aspects in association with mental, physical and social factors while subjectivity entails specific elements that define the quality of life of individuals in regards to personal and virtual aspects. The questionnaire was developed in 1986 whereby in entailed various sections in the collecting of data for both healthy and sick people. It was as per the standards found in the classic test theory. The study entails the completion of the FLZM questionnaire by the participants (Henrich & Herschbach, 2000).
The form contains two parts that include “Satisfaction with Health” (the health-related module) and the “General Life Satisfaction” (the general module). The first page of the questionnaire contains the general module for it applies to all cases. Also, the modules are in different sheets that have instructions and the tested items. The modules have already been tested for comprehension and hence can easily be understood by the participants, and the items can be filled in a short time by individuals with terminal illnesses and the elderly (Henrich & Herschbach, 2000).
In regards to psychometric properties, the test brings about both reliability and validity. It tests reliability regarding internal consistency and validity in terms of the discriminant, convergent and content validity. Similarly to the short form health survey, the scoring of the instrument is tentatively norm-based whereby general and health-related modules are standardized and enables easy interpretations. It consists of normative data which is used in making comparisons and interpretations of data (Henrich & Herschbach, 2000).
One of the strengths of the instrument is that it is comprehensive and sensitive in regards to the changes taking place in the health spectrum. The other strength is that it can improve communication whereby the nurse and the patient may have interactions that are useful. Furthermore, because of an autonomous decision-making process, the patients are empowered to communicate without feeling limited. The instrument is also in line with factors on life that patients highly regard. The instrument has also been used in various studies whereby it has proven its efficiency. One weakness is that the instrument is limited to English, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. Therefore, more translations need to be done in order to meet the needs of the diverse population (Starkweather, 2010).
The instrument is effective in clinical practice due to the efficiency that it has shown in various studies. Furthermore, it is efficient when it comes to psychometric studies and on obtaining comparative data. The subjectivity approach employed in the instrument makes it more efficient in understanding health conditions (Starkweather, 2010). The instrument allows the nurse to get information on the aspects valued by a patient because of being patient-centered. The focus allows the nurse to prioritize when it comes to interventions.
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