banner for global health tools guide

The Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey (VR-12)

The Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey (VR-12) is a patient-reported global health measure that is used to assess a patient’s overall perspective of their health. Developed from VR-36, VR-12 includes 12 original question items from the VR-36. The questions in this survey correspond to seven different health domains: general health perceptions, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical and emotional problems, bodily pain, energy/fatigue levels, social functioning, and mental health. Answers are summarized into two scores, a Physical Component Score (PCS) and a Mental Component Score (MCS) which then provide an important contrast between the respondents’ physical and psychological health status.

VR-12 is an established outcome measure supported by its widespread use and the legacy data behind it. Another similar reporting tool, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), which is relatively new, is similar in scope to VR-12. Early results indicate that scores from the VR-12 outcome tool can be converted to PROMIS 10 scores.


VR-12 is a popular and widely used global health reporting tool. The short questionnaire does a good job of capturing a patient’s physical and emotional health status. Paired with the VR-36, both VR-12 and VR-36 have been administered more than 7 million times over 15 years. The short form is also represented in more than 150 published articles.

Another advantage of VR-12 is the link it shares with PROMIS. A study carried out by Schalet et al. in 2015 found substantial overlap between both outcomes too, and concluded that VR-12 scores can also be expressed on the PROMIS metric to help facilitate the evaluation of treatment.


VR-12 has been used by the orthopedic community for over a decade, but like most global health instruments there’s a distinct lack of score standardization from one instrument to the next. Until now, health professionals had to choose between one data-collection tool or the other, without the ability to harmonize scores across them.

However, new projects such as the PROsetta Stone® project are attempting to address this issue by carrying out research to see if existing instruments can be better aligned with one another in the future.


The VR-12© questionnaire does require permission to use. Request Access HERE.


  1. Boston University School of Public Health. About the VR-36, VR-12, and VR-6D.
  2. Schalet, B. D., Rothrock, N. E., Hays, R. D., Kazis, L. E., Cook, K. F., Rutsohn, J. P., & Cella, D. (2015). Linking Physical and Mental Health Summary Scores from the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12) to the PROMIS® Global Health Scale. Journal of general internal medicine, 30(10), 1524-1530.
  3. Selim, A. J., Rogers, W., Fleishman, J. A., Qian, S. X., Fincke, B. G., Rothendler, J. A., & Kazis, L. E. (2009). Updated US population standard for the Veterans RAND 12-item Health Survey (VR-12). Quality of Life Research, 18(1), 43-52.
  4. Selim, A. J., Rogers, W., Qian, S. X., Brazier, J., & Kazis, L. E. (2011). A preference-based measure of health: the VR-6D derived from the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey. Quality of Life Research, 20(8), 1337-1347.

See The Global PRO Tools Guide

or Schedule a Call with a CODE PRO Expert