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Welcome to IQOLA

This is the official website of the International Quality of Life Assessment (IQOLA) Project. The IQOLA Project was established in 1991 to translate and validate the SF-36 Health Survey and other measures of patient-reported outcomes for international use. Initially, the IQOLA group included researchers from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States, who built on lessons from cross-cultural psychology and other health survey projects to develop protocols for translating, validating, and norming health status questionnaires. Papers describing IQOLA methods and their application to the SF-36 were published in 1998 in a 320-page issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology that contained work from 15 countries. International interest in the SF-36 has continued to grow, and SF-36 translations have been developed for more than 60 countries spanning six continents and have been the subject of more than 800 publications.

This Web site is designed to provide country-specific information about the SF translations: how they were developed, what is known about their psychometric properties, what has been published about them, and how to obtain them. In addition, general information about the IQOLA Project and the SF Health Surveys is presented, along with links to conferences and organizations in the health status field and to other websites of interest. We hope that this site will facilitate the scholarly exchange of information about the SF Health Surveys, and health status assessment in general, within and across countries.

Historically, health has been compared across countries using measures of mortality and morbidity. While vital to monitor, these statistics focus on illness and thus only capture part of the human health experience. During the past two decades, information from individuals about the impact of disease and its treatment on their functioning and well-being has become increasingly important in monitoring health and evaluating health services around the world. Widespread collection of this health status data has been made possible by the development of short, practical questionnaires that are reliable and valid, such as the SF-36® Health Survey and companion short-form (SF) questionnaires.

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