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PURPOSE: The psychometric properties of generic health-related quality of life (HRQOL) assessment instruments were evaluated to identify a reliable, valid, and non-redundant battery to measure longitudinal outcomes in organ transplant patients. METHODS: Objective functional performance and subjective HRQOL were assessed in 371 solid organ (liver, heart, kidney, lung) transplant patients using the Karnofsky scale, the SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36), and Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale (PAIS). The surveys' internal-consistency reliability, criterion-related validity, and redundancy were tested. RESULTS: The SF-36 mental (MCS) and physical components (PCS), and PAIS summary scales were internally consistent (all alpha > or = 0.83). Four out of seven PAIS scales (vocational, domestic, sexual, social) were collectively associated with the PCS (R = 0.65, P < 0.001), as was functional performance (r = 0.52, P < 0.001). Three PAIS scales (family, social, psychological distress) were associated with the MCS (R = 0.72, P < 0.001). Only the PAIS healthcare orientation (satisfaction) scale was not associated with the SF-36((R)). The relationship between functional performance and the PCS is stronger (r = 0.52, P < 0.001) than with the MCS (r = 0.25, P < 0.001) and the PAIS global score (r = 0.37, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The SF-36 and PAIS are internally consistent and exhibit divergent criterion-related validity but, with the exception of the PAIS healthcare orientation scale, are statistically redundant. The advantages of the SF-36 include wider use, more norms, and a lesser response burden. A transplant-specific patient satisfaction inventory was indicated and was developed.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin transplant

Publication Date



18 Suppl 12


39 - 45


Adaptation, Psychological, Adult, Female, Health Status Indicators, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Organ Transplantation, Patient Satisfaction, Psychological Tests, Psychometrics