A brief overview:

The SF-36 has become the most widely used measure of general health in clinical studies throughout the world. It currently generates eight dimension scores and two summary scores for physical and mental health. Whilst such scores provide an excellent means for judging the effectiveness of health care interventions, they have only a limited application in economic evaluation because they are not based on preferences.

The SF-6D provides a means for using the SF-36 and SF-12 in economic evaluation by estimating a preference-based single index measure for health from these data using general population values. The SF-6D allows the analyst to obtain quality adjusted life years (QALYs) from the SF-36 for use in cost utility analysis.

What is the SF-6D?

The SF-6D is a classification for describing health derived from a selection of SF-36 items. It is composed of six multi-level dimensions. Any patient who completes the SF-36 or the SF-12 can be uniquely classified according to the SF-6D. The SF-6D describes 18,000 health states in all.

See this video for more information 

How does the SF-6D generate preference scores?

The SF-6D comes with a set of preference weights obtained from a sample of the general population using the recognised valuation technique of standard gamble. Members of the general population were asked to value a selection of health states from which a model has been estimated to predict all the health states described by the SF-6D.

How can the SF-6D be obtained?

A users manual and computer programmes can be obtained from here The SF-6D is copyrighted and is available on a license basis.

There are three forms of licence:

  • A license is available free of charge for all non-commercial applications including work funded by research councils, Government agencies and charities.
  • For commercial applications there will be a per study license (e.g. clinical trial), though an open license for a fixed period is available.
  • The SF-6D is being used in software available from Optum Insight. (https://www.optum.com)

Income generated from the charges will go into a University based research fund.

For information about obtaining a copy of the SF-6D please use the University of Sheffield Licensing site  link opposite.