Usefulness of the SF-36 Health Survey questionnaire in screening for health-related quality of life among parents of children with cancer: Latent profile analysis


Cut-off points;
Quality of life;
SF-36 Health survey


Background: Poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of parents of children with cancer as their main caregivers can adversely affect child’s HRQOL. Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) is a widely used instrument to measure HRQOL. However, there are no clearly defined cut-off points for screening for parents with poor HRQOL. This study aimed to find appropriate cut-off points for the SF-36 questionnaire in a sample of parents of children with cancer using latent profile analysis to add another possibility to use it.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 110 couples (110 mothers and 110 fathers) of children diagnosed with cancer selected by simple random sampling method from the patients' files were included. The study was conducted at two settings, pediatric hematology ward and pediatric hematology clinic of a university hospital in 2016-2017. Latent Profile analysis method was used to determine appropriate cut-off points for the SF-36 questionnaire. Data was analyzed by Mplus and R3.3.0 software.


Based on the results, scores ≤44, 45-63 and ≥64 for mental health, and scores ≤43, 44-59 and ≥60 for physical health classes indicate weak, medium, and good, respectively. These cut-off points showed acceptable accuracy in classification of individuals. For the total quality of life, correct classification rates were 88%, 65% and 53% for each class respectively. For mental health (physical health), they were 79 (63), 50 (62) and 52 (63) for each class respectively.   

Conclusion: The cut-off points for the classes identified here can be useful in screening parents of children with cancer in clinical setting to provide clinical interventions to protect vulnerable parents from negative outcomes.


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