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Public Health Rep. 2004 Nov-Dec; 119(6): 577–584.
PMCID: PMC1497669
Evaluating the performance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention core Health-Related Quality of Life scale with adolescents.
Keith J. Zullig, Robert F. Valois, E. Scott Huebner, and J. Wanzer Drane
Department of Physical Education, Health, and Sport Studies, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA.
Keith J. Zullig: zulligkj/at/muohio.edu
Abstract
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's core Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) scale using data from 5,520 public high school students. METHODS: The 1997 South Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey was the source of data. Chi-square analysis was applied to assess scale construct validity. Adjusted multiple logistic regression with selected tobacco and substance use variables was used to assess known-groups validity of the scale's Healthy Days index (items regarding poor physical and mental health days during the past 30 days). RESULTS: Construct validity was supported for the core HRQOL scale by the associations between self-perceived health and physical health, mental health, and activity limitation days. A greater number of poor physical health days, poor mental health days, or activity limitation days was associated with poorer self-perceived health (p<0.0001); however, correlation coefficients for the associations between self-perceived health and physical health days (r=0.24; p<0.001), self-perceived health and mental health days (r=0.26; p<0.0001), and self-perceived health and activity limitation days (r=0.23; p<0.0001), although significant, were low in magnitude. Logistic regression analyses conducted with the Healthy Days index revealed significant (p<0.05) HRQOL differences between users and non- users of tobacco and other substance use variables. As hypothesized, as the usage of each substance increased, reported poor HRQOL days increased, supporting the known- groups validity of the scale. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides preliminary evidence that the HRQOL scale items are valid and potentially useful for adolescent surveillance. The results, however, are mixed regarding the inclusion of self-perceived health as a measure of HRQOL for adolescents, given the low correlation coefficients for the associations between self-perceived health and the other HRQOL scale items. These results suggest that adolescents may be rating two separate dimensions of health when rating their self-perceived health and HRQOL. Further research is needed to confirm these findings in different adolescent populations.
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